New flight simulator replicates flying experience for local cadets

Members of the Canora air cadets took delivery of their brand new flight simulator on February 8.

The flight simulator is set up to mirror an aircraft's cockpit in every detail, said Darren Paul, cadets commanding officer. It was built for the Canora squadron by Trent Walton of White City, who had previously created a similar unit for the Indian Head air cadet squadron.

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“There are rudder pedals on the floor, a steering yoke, throttle levers as well as all the switches and gauges that a real airplane would have,” said Paul. “The attention to detail that Trent put into the flight simulator is astounding.”

Walton walked each cadet through all the steps for creating “an exciting and rewarding flight experience,” including explanations on how the yoke and rudder pedals make the on-screen aircraft react.

“His instructions enabled all the cadets to take off properly and maintain level flight,” said Paul. “Landing took a bit more skill, however, and occasional resets of the crashed aircraft to get it right.” 

While using the flight simulator, cadets sit in a chair behind all the equipment to interact with a three-screen system intended to mimic an airplane windscreen. The unit itself is built on a cart that is painted with air cadet glider and tow plane colour schemes, and is able to fold in on itself to be pushed into storage for the next training session.

To get started, the cadets all took turns “flying” a Cessna aircraft under ideal weather conditions with the simulator set to be at the Yorkton airport. The program has the capability of putting the cadets into several different types of aircraft ranging all the way from small single engine prop planes to fighter jets to a Boeing 747.

Each cadet was initially given approximately 20 minutes on the simulator as an introduction.

Paul said this is a valuable training tool for the young air cadets.

“It’s very versatile, giving aspiring pilots the tools they need to learn the different aspects of flight training and aircraft recognition.” 

While waiting their turn on the simulator, the cadets had the opportunity to brush up on their knowledge of various aspects of flying.

“FSgt. Gracie Paul and Sgt. Tessa Spokes demonstrated with a squadron aircraft model the different components of the airplane that enable flight and the forces that act upon an aircraft,” said Paul. “There was also a paper airplane building and flying contest, keeping the cadets engaged until it was their turn to fly.”

On behalf of the Canora Royal Canadian Air Cadet Squadron, Paul expressed gratitude to Walton for “his incredible attention to detail as well as his dedication in getting the simulator finished in a very short time frame.”

Paul said the project was made possible through the dedication of a very supportive Canora air cadets sponsoring committee as well as partial funding from Sask Lotteries.



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