Canadian Forces pilot Max Cameron shows the CF-18 controls to Selkirk College president Angus Graeme during the flier's surprise visit to Castlegar on Sept. 28

Canadian Forces pilot Max Cameron shows the CF-18 controls to Selkirk College president Angus Graeme during the flier's surprise visit to Castlegar on Sept. 28

Airborne alumnus drops in

Unannounced guest makes a grand entrance at Castlegar class reunion

Selkirk College’s aviation program was having a reunion celebration for its class of 2002 on Friday when, as a surprise to most, the party was crashed by a grandstanding pilot in a CF-18 fighter jet.

Max Cameron, who was enrolled in the course from 2001-03 made an appearance to liven up the festivities, and did it ever work.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Having done a few fly-bys to make sure everyone knew he’d arrived, Max then touched down at Castlegar’s West Kootenay Regional Airport to mingle with the festive crowd. A Calgary native, Cameron had come quite a distance to be part of the party.

“It’s not really my graduation reunion,” he said sheepishly on the tarmac, “I might’ve stolen the show, I’m sorry.” (much laughter). “But the other class was gracious enough to host me.”

Based in Bagotville, Quebec, Cameron had taken the solo trip out west for the occasion. “The boss gave me the jet for the whole weekend,” said Max.

The trip took a little over five hours of flying time… not non-stop, however.

“She runs out of gas in a hurry,” said Max. “I had to stop for a fill-up in Winnipeg.”

Necks were craned from one end of Castlegar to the other as the awesome power (not to mention noise) of the two-seater was displayed. And the weather just happened to play along as the afternoon was sunny and beautiful.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“It’s wonderful to have students return to show us what they’re doing in their careers, and then to talk to our current students that exist in aviation,” said Selkirk College president Angus Graeme before being shown the cockpit by Cameron.

“It’s very inspiring… and Max put on a very nice show for us before he landed,” Graeme concluded. “The students were saying they were drooling.”