A summer dedicated to aviation and aerospace

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Yves Bélanger – Servir

Almost 190 cadets spent time at the Saint-Jean Cadet Flying Training Centre (CFTC St-Jean) this summer. While some had registered for the Glider Pilot Scholarship (69 cadets) or the Power Pilot Scholarship (56 cadets), about 60 of them took the Advanced Aerospace Course.

CFTC St-Jean took place from July 2 to August 10. This camp is known for its specialization, which is why a rigorous selection process takes place. “Participants are chosen based on their abilities, behaviour and marks,” said Captain Maxime-Gabriel Roy-Bilodeau.

Throughout their time in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, the cadets in the Advanced Aerospace Course had the opportunity to further their training in this field. In addition to the theoretical courses, the cadets visited the Canadian Space Agency and the Laval Cosmodome. They also received underwater training, similar to what future astronauts get. “Wearing diving equipment, they carried out some tasks at the bottom of the pool of the Cégep de Saint-Jean. Being underwater simulates weightlessness,” explained Capt Roy-Bilodeau.

During this training, participants also had to build rockets. Throughout the design process, they had to ensure maximum performance from their rocket. “There were two launch periods during the course,” explained Capt Roy-Bilodeau.

During our visit to the second rocket launching activity that took place on the grounds of the Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu airport, Servir had the opportunity to meet two of the cadets enrolled in the Advanced Aerospace Course.

Abigaïl Meloche lives in Windsor, Ontario. “This is my third time participating in CFTC St-Jean. I love what I learn here. Aeronautics is a real passion of mine, and I hope to make a career in it,” said Meloche.

Flight Sergeant Jacob Gagné, on the other hand, was participating in this camp for the sixth time. A PEI resident, he acknowledged that he is proud to now be part of the training personnel of CFTC St-Jean. “I really appreciated the bond I had during my first years with the staff cadets. My goal now is to pass on what I’ve learned the same way they did it for me,” said Sgt Gagné.

He is now certain that he will enrol in the Canadian Armed Forces. “I want to study aviation or aeronautics at the Royal Military College,” he said. While he knew that only a few manage to become an astronaut, he explained that he dreams of one day going to space. “I’m very happy to have been born when I was, when technology is so advanced that space flights will definitely be something routine in a few decades,” he added.

Image gallery

  • Cadets launch rockets at Saint-Jean Garrison
  • Rocket launches at the Saint-Jean Garrison

For additional photos, visit Servir’s Facebook page (in French only.)

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