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Snowbird pilot talks to Nelson Air Cadets

By Contributor
January 5th, 2021

The 561 Nelson Osprey Squadron cadets received a nice surprise in December during the first parade when Royal Canadian Air Cadets Major Regan Wickett joined in for a Zoom meeting.

Major Wickett is the Deputy Commanding Officer and Standards Officer for the 431 Air Demonstration Squadron, the “SNOWBIRDS” of the Royal Canadian Air Force.

Major Wickett, started his flying career as an Air Cadet in Saskatoon. He attended the Glider Pilot Training Course, became a Glider Instructor and instructed in the Air Cadet program as he worked his way thru University. After a few years as a teacher, Major Wickett joined the Canadian Armed Forces.

After earning his Royal Canadian Air Force Wings, he became a flying instructor and eventually joined the Snowbirds as the Coordinator. He has since worked up to be the Standards Officer and Deputy Commanding Officer.

Major Wickett told the cadets about his job in the Snowbirds, how the Air Cadet flying training parallels RCAF flying training and the other jobs that are needed to keep the Snowbirds flying.

The Nelson Air Cadet 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. Commander Gresmak is the Commanding Officer and Chief Petty Officer First Class Miller is the Senior Non-Commissioned Member in Pacific Region.

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

After a break for Christmas, the Nelson Air Cadets are continuing with virtual meetings starting on January 8th.

When it is safe, the cadets 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 the Facebook page.

The squadron always welcomes new cadets who are between the ages of 12 and 18. Anyone can start their application at

Adults who would like to volunteer with 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 form 1963 until 2000. The Tutor weighs approximately 7,170 lbs (3,260 kg) and is powered by a J-85 engine producing 2,700 pounds of thrust.

Photo Caption: oyal Canadian Air Cadets Major Regan Wickett joined 561 Nelson Osprey Squadron cadets for a Zoom meeting during the December parade. — Submitted

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