Rotorua Air Cadets keep on keeping on


All through the Covid-related restrictions, 29 Squadron kept up Parade Nights and education via Zoom and Google Classroom.

Cadets were challenged to develop a digital programme and they didn’t disappoint.  Many virtual parade nights didn’t stop at the usual 9:15 pm as cadets craved the experience.

No 29 Squadron ATC returned to our unit during Level 2 with strict distancing and hygiene rules, and now that we are at Level 1 we are operating in a way that almost feels normal.

Our Cadets were suffering serious cabin fever. They returned wanting to be challenged.  Catching up with mates in the ‘real world’ took on a new importance.

We are now hanging out for New Zealand Cadet Forces HQ easing the final operating restrictions which will allow our cadets to go back to attending field exercises, camps, and cadet social events.

NZDF Seasprite tour


After visiting Rotorua’s Volcanic Air before the lockdown, it is interesting to get a sensor tour of one of our eight SH-2G(I) aircraft operated by the NZDF.

And here’s a bonus vid from 6 Squadron:

Anzac Day tomorrow morning #StandAtDawn #29SquadronATC

RAAF and RNZAF working together providing hurricane relief to Fiji and other Island nations, April 2020. source: RNZAF Twitter

Tomorrow morning, at 0600 HRS, 29 SQN Cadets will observe Anzac Day individually.  The national initiative by the NZDF and RSA, #StandAtDawn, will see cadets at their letterboxes while streaming Last Post, observing a minute silence, listening to the Ode of Remembrance, and the National anthems.

source: NZ RSA Twitter

Rotorua Cadets challenged to get fit(ter)


The New Zealand Cadet Forces have posted a six-week exercise schedule to stop our cadets from returning as well-developed couch potatoes once the lockdown ends. Click here to access the NZDF exercise plans, including a phone app!

April is normally one of our busier months with cadet fitness being tested during parades, marches, and of course standing perfectly still for hours during the Anzac parade honour guard. (Try it for 10 minutes to see how hard that is on the body)

Speaking of Anzac Day:

As the notice says, more details to come.

Volcanic Air and 29 Squadron meet at Rotorua Airport

Volcanic Air Safaris helicopter pilot Brian Depauw shows LAC Swinburne, CDT Evans, LAC Belt, and CDT Dhillon what is involved in a pre-flight check.

Cadets of Rotorua’s 29 Squadron Air Training Corps gratefully accepted an invitation from Volcanic Air to learn about “everything helicopter” during a visit to their hangar at Rotorua Airport.

Volcanic Air pilots explained everything in the cockpit, showed the process of pre-flight checks, and showed a promotional video showing the company operating in the breath-taking playground that’s the greater Bay of Plenty region.

Cadets were able to sit in a number of aircraft for a good look at the cockpit and ask questions about the controls, flying, and whatever else came to mind.

Volcanic Air were very generous hosts, even taking one of the helicopters outside for a unit photograph.

L to R, back to front: FLOFF P Knight, CDT BJ Knight, CDT Sands, CDT Dhillon, CDT Belt
CDT Evans, LAC Swinburne, CDT Pomare, CDT Coveney, CPL Coveney, SGT Harris.

Click here to see a slide-show of photos taken at the Volcanic Air hangar.

29 Squadron host Rotorua District Cadet Unit for formal water safety test

29 SQN and RDCU at Rotorua’s Aquatic Centre

To ensure Cadets have minimum safety standards around water, they are required to swim two lengths of the pool (100 m) in light clothing. This annual test is held at the Aquatic Centre and 29 Squadron invites other Cadet units from the region to join in.

After the test, the Cadets are supervised by Aquatic Centre staff, Officers and parents while enjoying free time in much warmer water.

Rotorua Cadets take to the sky at Exercise “29 Above”

CDT Coveny of 29 (Rotorua) Squadron Air Training Corps

The weather got in the way on the original date, but Tom, Bill, Dave, and their loyal support crew at the Taupo Gliding Club hosted 29 Squadron’s budding soarers a few weeks later. Tow pilot Rod Milne was kept busy getting everyone into the air.

Nine people saw Taupo from a totally different angle. For six of them, this was their first time in a glider.

It was great to see the full range of emotions from pre-flight nerves to pure adrenalin having just touched down. The one emotion that was the same: they all wanted to come back and do it again.

Another day is planned for later this year.

To see more photos and videos of the day, click here

2020 sees Rotorua cadets hit the ground running


Nearly 30 cadets from Rotorua, including 29 Squadron’s cadets, were selected to attend Exercise 2020 this month. Hosted at the Waiouru Military Camp and Royal New Zealand Air Force Base Ohakea, over 1,200 cadets and 250 staff from throughout New Zealand spent five days taking part in a number of elective activities.

Cadets could choose to follow Air Force, Army, Navy, or a general adventure stream which offered diverse activities including abseiling, white water rafting, overnight tramping, flights, RiB rides, various sports, flight simulators, weapons demonstrations, paintball, archery, .22 shooting, escape rooms, casualty evacuations, mounting biking and much more.

To give all these people a place to sleep, a tent city comprising 114 canvas tents was erected which was the largest tented activity the NZDF have had since Vietnam.

To be eligible to apply, cadets need to have been with 29 Squadron for at least a full year. In larger units, not everyone gets selected to go due to limited capacity. Transport to and from the event and food is fully funded by the New Zealand Defence Force.