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Jul 31, 2009

B.D.F. Aviation Summer Camp touches down

Story PictureMeanwhile, the aviation camp of the Belize Defence Force Summer Program drew a large number of participants fascinated with the art of flying. It is the first of its kind where the students actually lived for two weeks at the Price Barracks in Ladyville. A News Five crew captured the beginning of the camp last week and its culmination today. Duane Moody has this report.

Duane Moody, Reporting
Some one hundred and sixty-seven kids received certificates for participating in the aviation camp. The two weeks camp catered to both primary and high school students and according to Brigadier General Dario Tapia, the program is geared at promoting education.

Brigadier General Dario Tapia, Commandant, B.D.F.
“This summer program is really a part of the ministry’s strategy to be able to get the young people to channel their energies into something positive during the summer holidays and I think by doing the summer program we have achieved that aim.”

The participants got hands on experience on the technical aspect of aviation.

2nd Lieutenant Radford Baizar, Aviation Camp Coordinator
“Our goal is to equip the participants with the knowledge and skill of the wonderful world of aviation. How we intend to do this is by actually instilling in them basic ground school lessons pertaining to aerodynamics, flight instruments, meteorology. Also we try to give them a little flight simulator experience. We also have for them in store, aircrew survival. Belize is sixty percent jungle so we actually give the skills and knowledge of how to survive in a non-permissible environment.”

Emil Gillett, Participant, Aviation Camp
“I’m learning a lot in this camp. I really wish that I can become a pilot and join the B.D.F. It teaches you to be a good cadet, a good student.”

Ganey Dortch Jr., Participant, Aviation Camp
“It teaches you to keep fit so you don’t have to be fat like yoh obese and yoh healthy, to eat the right food and get healthy den yoh could control di plane.”

Duane Moody
“Any chances that you guys will become B.D.F. soldiers yourselves?”

Emil Gillett
“I guess so.”

Kori Dawson, Participant. Aviation Camp
“I know a little by myself but I’ve been learning at lot here like the empennage and the fuselage of the of the plane, which is the body of the aircraft where the passenger and the cargo fit in the aircraft. There are the wings which consist of the ailerons which balances the plane left or right. Then they have the rudders of the aircraft, which what we would say yaw the aircraft; let it dance from left to right.”

And while camps such as these are both educational and recreational; Chief of Staff, Lieutenant Colonel Ganey Dortch, says it changes the stereotype of the B.D.F.

Lt. Col. Ganey Dortch, Chief of Staff, B.D.F.
“We are always looked at as killers, we are always looked at as those people in the jungle. But there is much more to the B.D.F. than just being in the jungle. We have pilots, we have cocks-wins, we have cooks, we have doctors, we have lawyers, etcetera, etcetera. So it is important for us to recognize what is it that these kids can eventually grow up to be.”

Duane Moody reporting for News Five.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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