“It was a little bit stressful at times when you see lightning strikes off in the distance. Actually, it looks a lot closer then it really is. So that can be a bit scary.”
Some of the most challenging flying came early on in the trip.
“Probably the most difficult part was going into Victoria, B.C., ’cause it’s one of the busiest airports in Canada.”
Gougeon has been in planes since he was 11 days old, and he clearly remembers as a youngster of seven or eight pestering his father to explain what the plane’s instruments do and to let him take the controls.
Eventually, he would like to earn his commercial pilot’s licence and then go on to become an instructor. Gougeon will be starting Grade 12 in the fall, and he is already thinking about university.
The boy’s air adventure is a fundraiser for the Neil Armstrong Scholarship, which the association administers. The fund provides flight training for young people who have the talent and character to become pilots but can’t afford it.
An Ontario business has promised to match donations up to $10,000.
More information about Gougeon’s journey and the scholarship fund can be found at cross Canada solo challenge.
Photo and Story: TED PRITCHARD / DAVENE JEFFREY Halifax Chronicle Herald