This is Becky on her first glider flight. It was cancelled twice due to bad weather, but we finally made it out to Arthur, Ontario in August 2010. There were two other youngsters, like Becky, waiting to take to the air. The program called Freedom Wings, gives an opportunity to people with disabilities to fly in a glider. The facilities are wheelchair accessible, and they have a lift to help adults in and out of the gliders.
Becky gives the thumbs-up sign ready for take-off.
Here she is getting towed into the skies. It takes a while to get the glider up high enough before the plane lets go. We sat watching as Becky’s glider circled around and around, gradually climbing higher. The flight was scheduled to last thirty minutes. Thirty minutes came and went. Forty-five minutes came and went. The glider disappeared. An hour went by, and all we could see was blue sky. It is so quiet and calm, because there are no engines. Other gliders came and went. Still we waited. I imaginged them in a farmer’s field somewhere waiting for a tow, but finally, they appeared and came down.
The pilot, Thomas, took these amazing photos from the air. He had given Becky a chance to pilot the glider during the flight. My stomach turned a little as he described their fast descent with Becky at the helm. “It was okay”, he explained, “we were very high up”. Why didn’t that make me feel better. The view was obviously, fantastic. I can only imagine what it must have been like floating in the air with no engine sounds. I must admit, I was a little jealous.
As a result, Becky earned her “wings”. She wears them proudly on her purple jacket. This day couldn’t have been possible without the generosity of the glider club and the pilots who gave their time. As you can see by the smile, it was all worth while.