155 Squadron Gliding at CFB North Bay

4 Oct 14  MEDIA RELEASE

L-R Capt.Mark Bucken Cdt. Matheson Armstrong in a glider. Photo Credit: Capt Roy Harten
L-R Capt.Mark Bucken Cdt. Matheson Armstrong in a glider. Photo Credit: Capt Roy Harten

Local Air Cadets l earn about flying firsthand recently when they flew in a glider and tow plane to experienced and the joy of flying when they visited CFB North Bay for the weekend. 23 cadets from the 155 Borden Gray Air Cadet Squadron (Sqn.) participated in their annual flying weekend. Gliding is one aspect of learning to fly in the Air Cadet program. Another opportunity locally will be the 155 Paper Airplane Flying contest on Wed, Oct. 22 the 155 open to boys and girls aged 11 to 17 years of age. There are prizes for the winning flier in each of the three categories. Space is limited so check out the link below for more details and come out and fly with us.

On the first day of their gliding weekend, Saturday due to rain the training consisted of airport procedures and a ground briefing including the aviation weather reports. Sunday dawned with heavy fog which cleared while Leading Air Cadet (LAC) Bear the 155 Sqn’s mascot oversaw the gliders moving onto the flight line. The newest recruit cadets got the first rides and the experience of flight. Cadet Madison Armstrong got in the front seat and Capt. Mark Bucken was the pilot. Once Cadet Armstrong was buckled in he got a briefing of the various dials and gauges that where in the cockpit in front of him. Shortly after a pre flight check list was gone through and the canopy was lowered. The cadets who were acting as the ground crew leveled the gliders wings for takeoff. Signals to the tow plane to slowly move forward to pull up the slack of the tow rope towrope connecting the tow plane to cadet Armstrong’s glider. Once the tow rope was taught the signal to launch was give and the glider followed the tow plane down the runway and then up into the air. At the predetermined height the glider released from the tow plane and Cadet Armstrong and Captain Buckan where in the peace and quiet of the glider riding on air thermals. Once the glider touched down and the ground crew cadets ran out and brought the glider back to the launch site Cadet Armstrong exclaimed “that was awesome”, when asked how his flight was. Numerous other cadets got to go gliding before the lunch break.LAC Bear got a chance to accompany several of the cadets.

Heading out on to the run way to go gliding. Photo Credit: Capt Roy Harten
Heading out on to the run way to go gliding. Photo Credit: Capt Roy Harten

When the cadets returned to air field after lunch the rain had started again and the remainder of the cadets got a flight in the tow plane. There is the opportunity for cadets to participate in one and possibly a second glider weekend per training year. Some of these cadets can work towards a six week summer training to learn and become a glider pilot, some even before they have a provincial drivers license. With more learning and knowledge testing these cadets can then go on to a six week summer training to earn their private power pilots license. In the past several years two power pilots and three glider pilots have earned their wings. On Wed. the

15th of Oct at the Pine St Armoury Flight Sergeant Chris Seymour will receive his Power Pilots Wings after completing his summer course. The 155 Air Cadet Sqn. has had thousands of cadets go through the Sqn with many going onto civilian commercial airliners with one local past cadet flying the largest passenger liner, the Airbus 380. There are other past cadets who have or continue to fly for the Royal Canadian Air Force in Sea King Helicopters, the CT-114 Tutor, Snowbird aerobatic team, CF-18 Fighter plane and various other aircraft.

155 Air Cadets during their Gliding Weekend at CFB NorthBay. Photo Credit: Capt Roy Harten
155 Air Cadets during their Gliding Weekend at CFB NorthBay. Photo Credit: Capt Roy Harten

The 155 Sqn is part of the Canadian Cadet Movement which is open to boys and girls between the ages of 12 to 18 years of age. There are no fees to join or participate in most cadet activities. The cost is their time and willingness to learn while making new friend s and having fun. Cadets can also take lessons in playing the bag pipes and snare drum or highland dance so that they can take part in the 155 Pipe and Drum Band which has competed successfully in area and provincial competitions. For more information please check out www.aircadets.ca/155/.

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