The Snowbirds are the military aerobatics or air show flight demonstration team of the Royal Canadian Air Force. Photo: Submitted

The Snowbirds are the military aerobatics or air show flight demonstration team of the Royal Canadian Air Force. Photo: Submitted

Nelson air cadets visited by Snowbirds officer

Major Regan Wickett is the deputy commanding officer of the famed flyers

Submitted by the Nelson Air Cadets

A member of the Royal Canadian Air Forces’ famed Snowbirds squadron visited the Nelson Air Cadets squadron online recently.

Major Regan Wickett joined the cadets of 561 Nelson Osprey Squadron, Royal Canadian Air Cadets, for their first parade in December.

Wickett started his flying career as an air cadet in Saskatoon and eventually became a glider pilot and instructor for air cadets. After university and a few years as a teacher, he joined the Canadian Armed Forces. Then, after earning his Royal Canadian Air Force wings, he became a flying instructor and eventually joined the Snowbirds, first as the co-ordinator and then the standards officer and deputy commanding officer.

He told the cadets about his job in the Snowbirds, how cadet training parallels RCAF flying training, and the other jobs that are needed to keep the Snowbirds flying.

The Nelson squadron has also had other exciting guests join them in their online meetings.

These included Commander Gresmak and Chief Petty Officer First Class Miller from the Regional Cadet Support Unit (Pacific) in Victoria.

For the last meeting before Christmas, Santa made a special visit and answered questions about his COVID-19 plan for his trip around the world and how he manages the navigation.

After a break for Christmas, the Nelson cadets are continuing with virtual meetings starting on Jan. 8. When it is safe, they will start meeting in person again. Whether they are meeting virtually or in person, the squadron is delivering the same educational and exciting program they have been giving to the leaders of tomorrow for over 50 years.

Nelson Air Cadets meet every Friday. Location and times can be found on our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/561NelsonOspreyAirCadets/

The squadron always welcomes new cadets who are between the ages of 12 and 18. You can start your application at https://app.cadets.gc.ca/cadet-registration/get-started.html

Adults who would like to volunteer with the squadron are also welcome.

Quick Facts

• The cadet program is open to all Canadian youth from the ages of 12 to 18 regardless of income, race, religion, culture or other socio-economic factors. The program embraces Canada’s multiculturalism and offers young Canadians opportunities to interact with youth from other cultures.

• Cadets is the largest youth organization operated by the Government of Canada.

• The Snowbirds fly the Canadair CT-114 Tutor, a Canadian-built jet that was used by the Canadian Forces as a basic pilot-training aircraft from 1963 until 2000. The Tutor weighs approximately 7,170 lb. (3,260 kg) and is powered by a J-85 engine producing 2,700 pounds of thrust.

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