Cadets look on as a rocket is launched in East Sooke Park.

Cadets look on as a rocket is launched in East Sooke Park.

Cadets reaching for the sky

If I had a rocket launcher... local cadets did fire away

Local cadets had an opportunity to reach for the sky in East Sooke.

On Saturday, August 9, some local air cadets had the opportunity to build and launch a 23 centimetre rocket, approximately 250 metres in the air (depending on wind conditions).

Approx. 50 cadets plus adult supervisors were at Aylard Farms in East Sooke on Sat, Aug. 9 from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. to assemble and launch model rockets.

The cadets were on the three-week Basic Aviation Technology and Aerospace Course (BATAC), which ran from July 27 to August 15 at Albert Head in Metchosin. The aim of the course was to expose the cadets to the fundamentals of aerospace, airport operations, and aircraft manufacturing and maintenance.

Over the three-week course, the cadets—the majority between  the ages of 13 and 15—visited Camosun’s School of Technology and Training, Viking Air, Victoria International Airport, and Victoria Airport Fire Hall.

The rocket launch is an integral part of the course, and — as can be expected for young teens — a highly popular highlight.

Each rocket had a parachute that allowed the rocket to glide on descent for safe retrieval; it also provided for the return of intact-rockets for the cadets to take home.

Each year, approximately 1,000 cadets attend the provincial air cadet summer camp between July and August, while a staff of approximately 150 provide supervision and instruction.

Air Cadets are selected for the courses and staff come from the 58 Royal Canadian Air Cadet Squadrons located throughout B.C.  There are 3,600 air cadets in B.C.