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Clark Freeport Zone, Pampanga – After months of ground school sessions, simulator and flight training, the cadets of APP 05-2021 successfully reached their first milestone as AAG-trained pilots – a successful first solo flight. On February 11, the 8 cadets of the batch finally earned their wings and proudly added another bar on their epaulets, signifying their readiness to take bigger and greater responsibilities as they move closer towards becoming world-class pilots.

The batch’s Pinning Ceremony, organized by the Student Affairs and Client Relations (SACRe) Department, was held at Simulator Bay 2, AAG Training Center – Annex building. AICAT’s new Head of Training, Capt. Gimby Cervania, formally opened the ceremony with his warm and firm welcome address, assuring the cadets that the training team will continue inculcating the knowledge, skills, and discipline needed for them to successfully complete the program. This was followed by an informative and inspiring congratulatory remarks from AAG’s Regional Director for Asia Pacific, Mr. Cristopher Magdangal. He underscored the value of adopting and implementing CBTA philosophy across all training modules and phases as a key enabler in training and developing the kind of pilots the industry needs as it navigates the path towards recovery. RD Cris also urged the cadets to keep their passion, commitment, and enthusiasm as they advance to the next phase of the training program, stressing that the first solo flight may be the most difficult and nerve-wracking experience they’ve came across so far, but it’s actually the easiest part of the entire training program, as it only marks the beginning of their pilot training journey. A video presentation showing each soloist’s experience before and after their flight, and their moments together that brought them to this day was also shown during the ceremony. This was further expounded by APP 05-2021’s representative, Cadet Michael James Francisco, as he shared the batch’s message of thanksgiving and appreciation to the people who helped them reach this significant milestone. Cadet Francisco also reminisced on their time together as individuals who share nothing but a single dream, and looked back on how far they’ve come despite their differences, the difficulties, and the challenges they’ve encountered. “Who would have thought that a single passion would bring us all here together,” he shared.

With this, the highlight of the ceremony was initiated. Each cadet, alongside their parents and guests, were called to the center for the ceremonial pinning of wings and changing of epaulet bars. Capt. Gaudencio Maniano and Capt. Gimby Cervania also assisted in awarding the first solo certificate and the cadets’ first solo aircraft model. To conclude the ceremony, AICAT’s Accountable Manager, Capt. Gaudencio Maniano delivered the closing remarks, quoting Neil Armstrong’s famous quote, “One small step for man, one big leap for mankind”- reminding the cadets that this significant milestone in their flight training may just be a small step, but is a giant leap towards their dream.