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  • Writer's pictureMartin Zeilig

Aerospace and Aviation in Manitoba Day

On July 17, Charlize and Robert, as well as teachers and chaperons from Clifton School, were pleased to be a part of the Aerospace and Aviation in Manitoba Day at the Western Canada Royal Aviation Museum.

Manitoba Aerospace organized the event.

The Clifton School group was utterly captivated by a display of aircraft from the Portage la Prairie Regional Flight Training School and 402 "City of Winnipeg" Squadron just outside the museum. The aircraft included a CT-142 Dash 8, a Bell 412 a Bell 206, a Jet Ranger, and a C 90 King Air.

Charlize commented, “Today is really exciting and I'm learning a lot I didn't know before,” while waiting to board the Dash 8.

The Canadian aerospace industry is one of the world's largest, with Manitoba ranking third in the country. For more than 75 years, our aerospace sector has provided world-class products and services to customers around the globe.

“During Aerospace Week, we celebrate our industry's success and future. This industry keeps the world moving, provides rewarding careers for our community, and helps build a strong economy."

The Stevenson Campus at Red River College has traditionally hosted AAiM Day. Approximately 700 Grade 6 students have attended since 2007.

According to Wendell Wiebe, President and CEO of Manitoba Aerospace, and Honorary Colonel at RCAF Barker College, holding the event at the museum allows students to see aircraft and participate in hands-on activities.

“Students in Manitoba learn about flight theory as part of their grade six curriculum. We as an industry have an opportunity to bring students in and introduce them to some real live aircraft, and hopefully this will entice them to consider a career in aerospace."

Students had the opportunity to participate in activities related to flight and aerospace at six stations in the museum. After a brief lecture on flight theory, the students were able to build a paper aircraft and try flying it at a target in a friendly competition.

In addition, Magellan Aerospace, which has a rocket propellant plant north of Winnipeg, provided an introduction to rocketry, following which, the children were able to make a rocket.

The RCAF Barker College station, Working in Space, was also very popular.

During the lesson, students were told that they were aboard the International Space Station, which had been damaged by a meteorite on the outside. They were then tethered together and given blocks of Lego that represented material that would be used to repair the ISS, and oven mitts to simulate astronauts' gloves.

"There are a lot of kids out there who want to be astronauts," Barbara Bowen, Director of Special Programs for Manitoba Aerospace, said. “Those working in space need to work with a partner and wear a space suit,” she explained.

The event is a good opportunity for us to engage with the public, said Major Cameron Powell, a pilot with 402 Squadron.

"I enjoy talking with the children. They're here to learn about all the different opportunities available in the aviation industry. We’re the military side of it. Being a pilot is just one of the many careers available in aviation. Ground crew, maintenance, and many other roles are necessary for a successful operation."

“It has been great working with the students. Some of the questions they have been asking are awesome."

According to 11-year-old Robert from Clifton School, the day was really exciting. “It is exciting to learn about new planes that I had never heard of before," he commented enthusiastically. "One day, I would like to join the RCAF. I would like to be a pilot on a transport plane."

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