About the Cadet Flying Training Centre

Our History

Our History

The Air Cadet Gliding Program saw its beginnings at Penhold, Alberta in 1965, because familiarization flying for Air Cadets with the RCAF was being curtailed due to reduction of the numbers of Regular Force and Reserve Aircraft. To address this inadequacy, the Air Cadet League of Canada directed its efforts toward organizing a gliding program for Air Cadets. By 1970, all Air Cadet League Provincial Committees had become engaged in an Air Cadet Gliding Operation. Since that time, thousands of cadets have received their gliding wings through the program, and over a million flights have been flown.

In the Atlantic Region, the Regional Gliding School began at CFB Greenwood in 1970 with two gliders and one winch. In 1973 the School operated from Summerside, PEI. In 1975 the school was moved to Waterville, NS; in 1978 and 1979 the school was operated from both Stephenville, NF and Waterville, NS and returned to Waterville in 1980. In 1985 the school moved to its present location using the Debert Airfield for flying and the facilities at the Nova Scotia Agriculture College in Bible Hill for accommodations, ground school, and administration. In 2005 the school relocated accommodations, ground school, and administration to the Debert Hospitality Centre. In 2010 the school moved accommodations and ground school back to the Nova Scotia Agriculture College while administration and other support staff operate in Debert.

From conception, the Royal Canadian Air Cadets program has been a partnership between a civilian authority, the Air Cadet League of Canada and the Department of National Defense. This partnership is most visible in the Air Cadet Gliding Program where the Air Cadet Leagues of each province owns the gliders, tow planes, and tow vehicles. DND services and operates the aircraft and vehicles, and provides the officers and instructors.

During the spring and fall, the gliders are staffed and located throughout the Atlantic Provinces to provide a familiarization flight to each cadet from every squadron. The gliders can be found in Debert, Gander, Greenwood, Miramichi, Port Hawkesbury, Stephenville, Summerside and Sydney.

The primary objective of every summer in Debert is to give fifty cadets about ten hours flying experience to train them for a Transport Canada Glider Pilot License. The following summer, many of the cadets who received their Glider License continue with their flight training and gain their Transport Canada Private Pilot License through the Air Cadet Flying Scholarship Program.

Our Badge

Our Badge

The eagle soars through the skies as a symbol of strength, agility and the freedom of flight. This spirit is shared by the cadets who learn to soar on their own wings high above the Atlantic Region each summer.

This love of freedom and flight is taught at the Debert Cadet Flying Training Centre, located in Debert, Nova Scotia. The shared spirit of the eagle and the Schwiezer 2-33A Glider, the training aircraft used by the school, is represented on the badge. They soar over top of an "A" which stands for Atlantic and is suggestive of the school's pursuit of excellence.