Nanaimo air cadets get first-hand look at CF-18

Royal Canadian Nanaimo Air Cadets 205 get first-hand look at CF-18.

Maj. Aaron Macluskie shows Nanaimo air cadets different parts of the CF-18 fighter jet during a visit to the Nanaimo Airport Saturday. Macluskie

Maj. Aaron Macluskie shows Nanaimo air cadets different parts of the CF-18 fighter jet during a visit to the Nanaimo Airport Saturday. Macluskie

The roar of CF-18 jet engines pulsed through the air above the Nanaimo Airport Saturday.

For Nanaimo air cadet William Groundwater, who watched from the ground and later got a rundown of the aircraft from the pilot, it was an exciting experience.

“It was outstanding. It was breathtaking,” Groundwater said. “Fighter jets just really intrigue me … so pretty much everything is like going to a rock concert for me, it’s pretty amazing.”

The jet was brought in under the careful guidance of Major Aaron Macluskie, a graduate of the Nanaimo Air Cadet Squadron, who currently serves as the weapons and training officer for the 410 Tactical Fighter Squadron.

Macluskie, who was undergoing regular scheduled training on Vancouver Island, received permission to divert to Nanaimo Airport and give the cadets a first-hand look at the fighter to celebrate the Nanaimo air cadet’s 70th anniversary.

“It’s a tremendous honour and it is extremely exciting for me,” said Macluskie, about the opportunity to bring the plane to Nanaimo.

Macluskie said he remembers what it was like when he was a cadet and curious about the workings of the airplane and now it’s fun to be on the other side and answer questions about the CF-18.

One of the best pieces of advice he can give to the youth is to keep working hard and learning the skills taught in cadets, he said.

“Cadets sets you up really well for anything you want to do afterwards. There’s the discipline, the hard work, you have to be committed, all of those skills are transferred directly to flying CF-18s, going to school or pursuing other options,” said Macluskie

Groundwater said it’s great to have a former cadet share his experiences with the air squadron.

“It really boosts my morale – you know this guy has done it, and I can do it as well if I put my effort into it,” he said.

Ginny Church, a level 3 training officer for the Royal Canadian Air Cadets 205 Nanaimo, said she’s thrilled to be part of the air cadets.

Church started as a cadet in the mid-1970s and now helps instruct youth. She said the air cadets isn’t a recruiting tool for the Armed Forces, but if a cadet chooses that career path, the skills they learn are a good stepping stone.

The air cadet’s end of year ceremony was held Sunday at the airport, with Macluskie participating as the reviewing officer.


The CF-188, popularly known as the CF-18, is the Canadian Forces front-line fighter jet, according to the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Forces website,

It can engage both air and ground targets and is equipped with a Sniper Advanced Targeting pod, which includes an infra-red camera and video camera allowing the pilot to see targets at night, in all weather conditions and from great distances.

The fighter’s twin engines can produce enough thrust to lift 24 full-sized pickup trucks off the ground.

Just Posted

(PQB News file photo)
Fireworks report highlights enforcement challenges for Regional District of Nanaimo

Director: ‘I just think it’s wasting everybody’s time’

An event on the lawn of the B.C. legislature in Victoria on Tuesday to remember the 215 children whose remains were confirmed buried in unmarked graves outside a Kamloops residential school. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Canada’s racist systems cannot ever be forgiven

Teen letter writer from Nunavut calls for truth and reconciliation

Nanaimo is the first city in Canada to subscribe to the Chonolog environment photo-monitoring system, which allow residents to contribute photos of habitat restoration projects that are converted to time lapse sequences showing environmental changes. (Chris Bush/ News Bulletin)
Nanaimo residents invited to be citizen scientists by sharing habitat restoration photos

Nanaimo first city in Canada to sign up for Chronolog environment photo monitoring service

Regional District of Nanaimo is seeking input from the public for its transit redevelopment strategy. (News Bulletin file)
Public input sought as RDN works on transit redevelopment strategy

RDN wants to know where people want bus stops, shelters and pedestrian and cycling connections

Douglas Holmes, current Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District chief administrative officer, is set to take on that position at the Regional District of Nanaimo come late August. (Submitted photo)
Regional District of Nanaimo’s next CAO keen to work on building partnerships

Douglas Holmes to take over top administrator role with RDN this summer

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Members of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Marine Mammal Response Program rescued an adult humpback what that was entangled in commercial fishing gear in the waters off of Entrance Island on Thursday, June 10. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Response Program)
Rescuers free humpback ‘anchored’ down by prawn traps near Nanaimo

Department of Fisheries and Oceans responders spend hours untangling whale

Stuffed toys, many with donations pinned to them, are piled in the Lions Pavilion at Maffeo Sutton Park at a vigil May 31 honouring the 215 Indigenous children whose remains were discovered outside a residential school in Kamloops. (News Bulletin file photo)
Thousands donated to child and family service agency following Nanaimo vigil

Toys and money donated to Kw’umut Lelum child and family services

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

Most Read