By Captain Angela Sargent
Civilian Instructor (CI) Laszlo Nemedy is back after receiving his glider wings through the Royal Canadian Air Cadet Program in 1977 at the gliding school in Nanaimo. At the time he was a cadet with 744 Duncan Royal Canadian Air Cadets. Forty years later he is a tow pilot for the gliding program at Comox Cadet Flying Training centre.
In the meantime Laszlo has spent thirty years flying as a member of the Royal Canadian Air Force then seven years as a manager and pilot with a company contracted to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. So when his long-time friend Keith, with whom he earned his cadet wings back in 1977, called and invited him to fly for the cadet program this summer he took the opportunity to use his wealth of experience.
His friend Keith is now Lieutenant Colonel Stewart who runs the Comox Cadet Flying training Centre based at CFB Comox and the two have kept in touch through the years.
“I thought it would be fun,” grinned CI Nemedy. “It is actually. This June was the first time I had been alone in a plane for thirty years. The last time was back in ’87 in a Piper Aztec D when I flew for my Transport Canada instrument ride. It was surreal being alone after so long. Really quiet.”
Laszlo spent his Air Force career flying planes with a crew such as the Aurora CC140and Buffalo CC115 where there was always activity around him. He also flew Musketeers CC134, Twin Otters CC138 in the arctic and Tutors CC114. The Tutor that is now set on a stand above the Comox Valley Tourist Information booth just off Highway 19, is one that he flew during his career. “I flew that actual plane,” he grins, “That’s a fun fact.”
As well as flying a series of legendary planes during his career, Lazlo also traveled with the CAF from the North Pole to Concepción in Chile and from 1,200Miles west of Midway to twelve miles off the coast of Israel. He does point out that if you want direction around his home town of Courtney, BC…. You are better off asking his wife.
In forty years of flying CI Nemedy has seen the advance of avionic technology.
“GPS was an amazing breakthrough. Before that you had to do many calculations and triangulations in the cockpit. Sometimes, if you needed to be absolutely certain, three of us would complete the same calculations to be sure there was no error.”
Despite so many years of experience, Laszlo was prepared to start at the beginning again when he joined the Cadet Flying program. He recently completed twenty eight hours of flight training and fifteen hours of ground school to obtain his tow pilot qualification. He is spending his summer enjoying flying whilst helping cadets with their own aviation goals.
More than 3,000 Sea, Army and Air Cadets are participating in summer training activities across B.C. this summer. Other cadets have had the opportunity to travel across the country and even overseas. To find out more about the Cadet Program visit www.cadets.ca or follow us on Twitter @BC_Cadets