Cadet Jarred Lalande of Creston at the Royal Canadian Air Cadets Regional Gliding School (Pacific).

Cadet Jarred Lalande of Creston at the Royal Canadian Air Cadets Regional Gliding School (Pacific).

Creston cadets expand aviation knowledge at RCAC regional gliding school

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COMOX, B.C. – Cadets Ajay Sidhu and Jarred Lalande of Creston, BC spent their summer at the Royal Canadian Air Cadets Regional Gliding School (Pacific) on the basic and advanced aviation courses.

Sidhu and Lalande, members of 904 Kootenay Squadron, are two of 47 air cadets from across B.C. selected for the opportunity to complete either the basic or advanced aviation course. These courses provide cadets with the fundamentals of aviation training by expanding aviation knowledge through learning, experience and exposure. The basic aviation course hopes to inspire cadets to further pursue aviation training while providing the groundwork necessary to be accepted onto an advanced aviation course. Upon completion of the advanced aviation course, cadets become eligible for instructor and team leader positions within the air cadet program.

Throughout the summer, cadets take advanced courses in radio communication, principles of flight and propulsion, airmanship, meteorology, air navigation and instructional techniques. They are also given the opportunity to tour the Comox Terminal air traffic control unit and 442 Search and Rescue Squadron to expand their knowledge of aviation as a whole. The basic and advanced aviation courses hope to inspire cadets to further pursue specialized aviation training, while providing the skill and subject matter knowledge necessary to be accepted onto an advanced aviation courses such as the glider pilot scholarship course.

When asked what the advanced aviation course meant to him, Sidhu said “I was inspired by gliders when I first joined cadets and from then on my main focus has been to get both my glider and power licences and hopefully have a career in aviation.”

Lalande expressed interest in applying for the advanced aviation course and continuing with his aviation education.

“Like the cadet program itself, this course lays the foundation for so many of the concepts that the cadets will grasp as they move forward in their lives,” said Lt.-Col Keith Stewart, commanding officer of RGS (Pacific). “Fitness, leadership, citizenship and stimulating an interest in aviation and in the RCAF — it all happens on these courses.  For all cadets, these courses are the beginning of a career in aviation, or in any one of thousands of different career paths which they may choose to follow.”

Royal Canadian Air Cadets in a national co-educational youth organization sponsored in partnership by the Canadian Forces and the civilian Air Cadet League of Canada. In B.C., there are approximately 3,700 air cadets enrolled in 57 squadrons. The BC Ministry of Education recognizes the cadet program as a ministry-accepted external course for which students may receive graduation credit.

If you are interested in joining the Royal Canadian Air Cadets Squadron contact 904 Kootenay Squadron’s Commanding Officer Capt. Dina Gri (250-422-9233) or join 904 Kootenay Squadron Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. at 404 22nd Ave. S. starting Sept. 16.

—ROYAL CANADIAN AIR CADETS