Regional Cadet Air Operations (Pacific) is the Canadian Forces organization responsible for the execution and oversight of all flying activities conducted in support of the Air Cadet Program in British Columbia. In simple terms, the mission of RCA Ops (Pac) is to keep the "air" in Air Cadets, a mission which consists of the following elements:
(1) provision of familiarization flights and / or demonstration flights to all air cadets;
(2) provision of aviation training to selected air cadets;
(3) provision of flight training to selected air cadets;
(4) oversight of all air cadet flying activities in non-DND aircraft; and
(5) provision of staff training to safely and effectively accomplish the Air Cadet Gliding Program.
RCA Ops (Pacific) conducts gliding operations with a fleet of aircraft purchased and owned by the BC Provincial Committee of the Air Cadet League of Canada. The Pacific Region fleet currently consists of 12 Schweizer SGS 2-33A Gliders, 4 Cessna C182 Towplanes, and 2 Cessna L19 "Bird Dog" Towplanes. The region also conducts limited winch operations using two Roman's Design single drum winches owned by the Department of National Defence (DND).
SGS 2-33A Gliders
L19 "Bird Dog" Towplane
Roman's Design Winch
Glider Familiarization Flying
The aim of the glider familiarization flying program is to provide each air cadet with at least one glider flight per year. Glider familiarization flying is conducted on weekends from March to June and from September to November at various locations throughout the province.
Familiarization flights in gliders are the first building block of an Air Cadet's aviation experience, and cater to Air Cadets inexperienced in aviation. Familiarization flights are benign flights that introduce the cadet to the joy of flying, give them the opportunity to actually fly an aircraft, and hopefully instil a desire to experience aviation in more depth. In many cases, the glider pilot who will fly your cadets will also be a cadet! These cadet pilots are graduates of the Glider Pilot Scholarship Course who, in addition to their Squadron duties, regularly participate in gliding site operations and have been trained and qualified to provide familiarization flights.
Senior air cadets who may be interested in pursuing flight training will receive demonstration flights with a qualified glider instructor. These flights will give them the opportunity to fly more complicated and advanced manoeuvres, providing them with a realistic sense of the type of training they will receive if selected for the Glider Pilot Scholarship Course.
Unlike power flying, gliding is very much a "team effort". Glider flights require the support of many other people who fly the tow aircraft, operate winches, assist with ground handling of gliders, and participate in glider launch and recovery activities. Everybody at the site from the brand new Air Cadet all the way up to the Commanding Officer assists with these duties. For those with a nautical background, this is referred to as "all hands on deck". As a result, the culture and socialization at the gliding site is very "informal". When you visit the gliding site, your air cadets will become part of our team. They will have the opportunity to participate as glider ground crew under the watchful eye of Gliding Site staff. This will include retrieving gliders after landing, positioning gliders for take-off, completing glider hookups and pre-launch checks, and participating as part of the launch crew.
Power Familiarization Flying
Some Air Cadet Squadrons have the financial resources to conduct Power Familiarization Flying for their cadets. Such flying is supplementary to the Glider Familiarization Flying provided by RCA Ops (Pac), and is organized by the Squadron and funded by the Squadron Sponsoring Committee. These activities are still subject to approval and oversight by RCA Ops (Pac) and must be approved in advance.
Squadrons interested in conducting Power Familiarization Flying should read the information on the "Squadron Resources" page provided by Regional Cadet Air Operations.
Regional Gliding School
The Regional Gliding School (Pacific) operates from Canadian Forces Base Comox during the period from June to August each summer. The school mandate is to provide aviation training and flight training to selected cadets and staff. The school is responsible for the delivery and oversight of all flight traning and aviation training for both staff and air cadets.
RGS (Pac) is responsible for a variety of courses which are described below.
Power Pilot Scholarship (PPS) Course. The Power Pilot Scholarship Course is a 7 week intensive flight training course offered to air cadets who meet stringent requirements and have been picked through a rigorous selection process. This is a demanding course with very high standards and not all cadets who commence training will successfully complete the course. The average success rate on this course is approximately 90%.
Cadets who are successful will earn a Transport Canada Private Pilots License as well as the right to wear the Air Cadet Power Pilot Wings. Each summer, approximately 35 air cadets from British Columbia are offered this opportunity. Training is conducted under contract at carefully screened civilian Flight Training Units in BC, under the supervision of staff from RGS (Pac).
Glider Pilot Scholarship (GPS) Course. The Glider Pilot Scholarship Course is a 6 week intensive flight training course offered to air cadets who meet stringent requirements and have been picked through a rigorous selection process. This is a demanding course with very high standards, and not all cadets who commence training will successfully complete the course. The average success rate on this course is approximately 80%.
Cadets who are successful will earn a Transport Canada Glider Pilots License as well as the right to wear the Air Cadet Glider Pilot Wings. Each summer, approximately 45 air cadets from British Columbia will be offered this opportunity. Training is conducted by the Regional Gliding School in Comox, BC.
Graduates of the GPS Course also have the opportunity to continue flying during the spring and fall at the Familiarization Gliding Site to which their home Squadron is assigned. Cadets who actively participate at their assigned Gliding Site will have the chance to continue building their gliding experience at no cost. They also have the opportunity to upgrade their qualifications provide familiarization flights to other Air Cadets, and with dedicated effort can eventually become qualified as Glider Pilot Instructors eligible for summer employment by the Regional Gliding School.
Advanced Aviation Course (AAC). The Advanced Aviation Course is a 3 week course offered to air cadets who meet selection requirements. The course is designed to provide cadets with intermediate / advanced level instruction in a broad spectrum of aviation subjects, with the goal of preparing them for the academic challenges of the Glider Pilot and Power Pilot Courses. Each summer, approximately 40 air cadets from British Columbia will be offered this opportunity. Training is conducted by the Regional Gliding School in Comox, BC.
Basic Aviation Course (BAC). The Basic Aviation Course is a 3 week course offered to air cadets who meet selection requirements. The course is designed to provide cadets with basic instruction in a broad spectrum of aviation subjects, with the goal of helping them determine if they are interested in pursuing more advanced aviation training (including flight training) later in their cadet career. Each summer, approximately 40 air cadets from British Columbia will be offered this opportunity. Training is conducted by the Regional Gliding School in Comox, BC.
RGS (Pac) is also responsible to deliver flight training to selected staff members. The prerequisites and course selection criteria for staff courses are detailed in A-CR-CCP-242/PT-005 and in RCA Ops (Pac) Orders and Instructions - Volume 2 - Regional Flying Orders.
(1) Tow Pilot Conversion Course (TPCC)
(2) Glider Pilot Instructor Course (GPIC)
(3) Power Pilot to Glider Pilot Conversion Course
(4) Soaring Pilot to Glider Pilot Conversion Course
(5) Winch Launch Conversion Course
Contact RCA Ops (Pac)
Regional Cadet Air Operations Officer
Lieutenant Colonel Keith Stewart Phone: (250)-339-8211 extension 8713
Deputy Regional Cadet Air Operations Officer
This position is currently vacant, and is expected to be filled in early March 2014.
Captain Rob Allison Phone: (250) 339-8211 extension 7044
Master Warrant Officer Tom Harper Phone: (250) 339-8211 extension 6968