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New cadet program named in honour of Dr. Roberta Bondar (7 photos)

The aircraft maintenance program will afford local cadets the opportunity get instruction on engine maintenance and repair from qualified aircraft technicians

The 155 Borden Gray (GC) Royal Canadian Air Cadet Squadron celebrated the launch of phase one of the Dr. Roberta Bondar Air Cadet Training Program on Friday, May 13.

In partnership with the Canadian Bushplane Heritage Centre (CBHC), the aircraft maintenance project will afford local cadets the opportunity get instruction on engine maintenance and repair from qualified aircraft technicians.

It also demonstrates the museum’s value and engages the community, said CBHC Executive Director Mike Delfre.

Special guests for the ribbon cutting ceremony included MP Terry Sheehan; Colonel Yve Thomson, CD Commander 16 Wing at CFB Borden; Chief Warrant Officer Hank Etheridge, CD, 16 Wing CWO; Ward 2 City Councillor Susan Myers representing Mayor Provenzano; Captain Jim Brown, Commanding Officer of the 155 Air Cadet Squadron; Craig Hawkins, Past Chair Ontario Provincial Committee Air Cadet League of Canada; and Dr. Roberta Bondar.

“I wish I was an air cadet when I was growing up,” said Dr. Bondar during her address. “There wasn’t an opportunity for me to be an air cadet, and I think it’s marvellous that we have these kinds of opportunities now. Training programs like this are really important for pilots, or pilot wannabes.”

“The people who come out of this air cadet training program will be leagues above everybody else, and myself included, will have a lot of information to be able to use in the future regardless of what ever they do,” she continued. “Flying is going to be a part of their life forever. This kind of program really will get them into the thick of things. I just can’t thank the Bushplane Museum enough on behalf of all the pilot wannabes and all the pilots who have come through life to be able to share this opportunity now.”

Following the address, Craig Hawkins made Dr. Bondar an honorary air cadet and Warrant Officer First Class Christiane Boudreau made a special plaque presentation.

“I was looking something that the cadets could do as a unique project within their community,” said the brains behind the program, Captain Roy Harten.

His hope is that the hands-on experience provided during the program will encourage cadets to pursue aircraft mechanics as a career.

He believes the Dr. Roberta Bondar Air Cadet Training Program is the only one of its kind in Canada.

Currently, there are three third-year cadets taking advantage of the program.

Starting this September, first and second year cadets will be invited to take part.

To learn more about the 155 Borden Gray (GC) Royal Canadian Air Cadet Squadron, please click here.


Donna Hopper

About the Author: Donna Hopper

Donna Hopper has been a photojournalist with SooToday since 2007, and her passion for music motivates her to focus on area arts, entertainment and community events.
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