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Fly with Air Inuit

On Saturday, April 28, 40 Air Cadets from 690 Lakeshore Squadron, Montreal West Island had an extraordinary familiarization flight aboard a DASH-8 from Air Inuit.

This initiative was led by two Air Inuit employees who volunteer their time with the Air Cadets, Captain Yann Conann and First Officer Marc-André Gratton, the latter who is a civilian instructor who’s been with 690 Squadron for 10 years now. For First Officer Gratton, who received his pilot’s licence from the Air Cadet League at 16 years old: “My passion for aviation started when I was a cadet and thanks to them I got my glider and private pilot licenses. Here I am today working for Air Inuit. It’s an interesting thought that maybe some of my future colleagues are on today’s familiarization flight.”

Forty smiling cadets were given the opportunity to visit Air Inuit’s facilities at the Montréal–Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport, learn more about the company’s fleet, and fly for an hour above the island of Montreal. The aircraft used for the flight was a Bombardier DASH-8 combi 300 series with a capacity of 45 passengers.

For Leading Air Cadet (LAC) Vinicius Vieira-Lima who was on his first familiarization flight: “The flight was absolutely amazing! I loved being able to see Montreal from above, it was beautiful.”

The cadet Warrant Officer Second Class Sabrina Bedard-Theriault, glider pilot, greatly appreciated the flight and said: “What a great familiarization flight! It was my first time aboard a commercial aircraft. I can’t wait for this summer when I will be in command of a single engine aircraft.” Bedard-Theriault received a scholarship from the Royal Canadian Air Cadets to complete her private pilot’s licence.

Captain Alexandre Ouellet-Gendron, the Commanding Officer of 690 Lakeshore squadron and member of the Cadet Instructor Cadre, particularly wishes to thank Air Inuit, who offered this flight: “It’s thanks to the support of organizations like Air Inuit that our youth are able to participate in these wonderful experiences that expose them to the world of aviation. This is most definitely a mission accomplished thanks to the help of a company involved with the community.”

The Department of National Defence has a long and proud history of supporting Canadian youth through the Cadet and Junior Canadian Ranger programs.

The Royal Canadian Air Cadets, in partnership with the Air Cadet League, have trained thousands of young people for 75 years. The Cadet Program is the largest free government program for youth in Canada with 425,000 participants including 5,000 Air Cadets in the province of Quebec. Air Cadets accept young people between the ages of 12 and 19 who wish to develop their leadership skills, citizenship potential and good physical fitness.

Major R Gratton