For the past seven years I have been employed as a C130 pilot in the Canadian Forces. I find my job to be very challenging and rewarding. It is a thrill to work with a highly trained and professional C130 crew. My flying duties have included strategic global airlift, air refueling with CF 18’s and search and rescue operations.
I was accepted into the Canadian Forces under the Regular Officer Training Plan (ROTP), and was initially sent to CFB Chilliwack for Basic Training. This 8 week course commonly referred to as “Boot Camp” focused on officer training and leadership skills. The next four years of my military career was spent at the Royal Military College of Canada in Kingston, Ontario. While at RMC I studied Arts and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Commerce. It was during the summer months that initial pilot phase training was conducted. This training included: French Language Training, Primary Flight Training on the CT 134 Musketeer, and Land and Sea Survival Training.
Following graduation from RMC I spent the next 12 months at CFB Moose Jaw as a student pilot on the Basic and Advanced Military Flight Training Course. Flying training was conducted on the CT 114 Tutor Jet. The flying syllabus included VFR, Instrument, Low Level Navigation, Aerobatics and Formation Flying. Following successful completion of this course a student pilot is awarded his or her military wings. One’s flying assignment is also made at this time. A combination of personal choice and military requirements results in one being posted to a specific squadron. The possibilities include helicopter, transport, marine patrol, fighter and search and rescue squadrons. I was fortunate enough to get my first choice the C130 Hercules.
After a three month initial training course on the C130 I was posted to 435 Squadron at CFB Edmonton. I spent four years in Edmonton with my last two as an Aircraft Commander on the C130. The flying was second to none in my mind at the time. I was able to operate on missions to all of the continents except Antarctica over these four years. These missions could be as various as famine relieve in Somalia to the resupply of diesel fuel to the generators of CFB Alert at 83 degrees north. Tactical missions included search and rescue duties along with the air refueling of CF 18s.
My last three years have been spent with 435 Squadron now at CFB Winnipeg. During this time I have been responsible for training other C130 Aircraft Commanders and First Officers. As well I have been assigned the position of Air Refueling Standards Pilot and am responsible for conducting aircraft checkrides on Squadron Tanker Commanders and First Officers.
Flying the “Herc” for the past seven years really has been a dream job. Having flown all over the world sometimes with as little as 24 hours notice for a specific mission truly defines dynamic flying. The crews that I have worked with have also been some of the most talented and professional individuals that I have ever had the pleasure to know.
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