Warrant Officer Karan Dhillon, 18, of Castlegar will spend six weeks this summer at the Aviation Campus of Canadore College in North Bay Ontario. Dhillon was one of a select group of cadets from across Canada chosen to take the Advanced Aviation Technology Course – Aircraft Maintenance. He will experience a variety of hands-on aircraft construction and maintenance functions during his time there.
Canadore has been a leader in aviation training for over 40 years and the 17,000 sq. ft. hanger at North Bay’s Jack Garland Airport is filled to capacity with fixed and rotary wing aircraft for cadets to work on.
Warrant Officer Dhillon recently received The Lord Strathcona Medal, the highest award which can be bestowed upon a Canadian cadet in recognition of exemplary performance in physical and military training. He has also been awarded The Legion Medal of Excellence by the Royal Canadian Legion to cadets who have displayed excellence in citizenship both inside and outside of the cadet program. The medal is only presented to one cadet per squadron annually.
Though the majority of cadet training takes place at the local squadron during the regular school year, a percentage of cadets are selected for summer courses at various training centres located across Canada. Central to the air cadet program are the gliding and flying scholarships offered to those who qualify. One in five private pilots in Canada is an ex-air cadet and 67 per cent of commercial and airline pilots began as air cadets. There are approximately 23,000 air cadets in 456 squadrons located across the country.
A number of other air cadets from 581 Squadron in Castlegar are currently away taking introductory and advanced courses at various locations in B.C. and Alberta.
Notable Canadians who were air cadets in their youth include; Prime Minister Joe Clark, journalist and author Gwynne Dyer, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia Garde Gardom, astronaut Chris Hadfield, Governor General of Canada Ray Hnatyshyn, former Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador Brian Tobin and children’s entertainer, Fred Penner to name a few.
Capt. J. Lundquist
C/O 581 Squadron, Castlegar
Royal Canadian Air Cadets