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A new club takes flight

The Mohawk Aviation Club is one of the newest additions to the Mohawk Students’ Association’s Clubs and Committees list. The club gained over 100 members within its first two weeks, and it now has roughly 150 students taking part.

“We mostly cater to Aviation students, but everyone at Mohawk is welcome to join if they have any interest in airplanes or aviation,” Miranda Martin-Kinsman, the club’s vice-president and co-founder, said. “We do things like workshops to work on our skills, we have field trips, we have guest speakers coming in the future and we host social events as well.”

Denis Ranque, an Aviation Technician – Avionics Maintenance student, was looking to get more involved outside of his everyday classes when he realized there was an opportunity to create a space that would fill a gap in the college’s club community.

He began asking around to see if there was anyone else who would be interested in joining, and after getting a positive response from students and faculty, Ranque approached classmate Martin-Kinsman to help him run the club and plan events.

The duo knew they wanted to help create an environment where students would be able to benefit from joining and dedicating their time.

Aviation students take a look at an example of a lock-wire.
Lock-wire is a bolt securing technique that can be spotted on planes and helicopters.

The idea behind hosting a recent lock-wire workshop was to give students an opportunity to practice and nail down must-have skills of the industry like securing bolts. When workshops are held after a long day of classes, the club often provides pizza to help keep spirits and motivation up.

Guest speakers allow students to hear from industry professionals who can speak about their real-life experiences, while field trips are a chance to visit with potential employers and ask questions.

“The trips offer students a chance to visit a workplace and decide whether they like that particular environment,” Ranque said. “And it also offers the opportunity for employers to meet students coming into the workforce.”

The club’s first unofficial field trip was to Diamond Aircraft Industries in London, and on Jan. 31, the club arranged two tours of KF Aerospace, an aircraft maintenance company located in Mount Hope.

KF took the students on a guided tour through two hangars where they got an up-close look at how cargo planes and passenger planes receive various forms of maintenance.

Aviation students look at the mechanics of a plan with a KF Aerospace employee.
The aviation campus features many planes the students can learn from.

The trip provided an inside look into the industry from a first-hand perspective and gave students the opportunity to ask questions.

Ranque and Martin-Kinsman are constantly planning new events and are fully booked up until May.

Second-year Avionics student Connor French heard about the club and attended the first unofficial field trip. French says the club is a great place for people to get together and experience new things without making a major commitment.

“I haven’t been to every meeting but there is tons of stuff to do, there are things to see and new things to learn,” he said. “One of the things they [Ranque and Martin-Kinsman] wanted to do is they wanted to make it a learning experience, as well as going and doing some fun stuff that is aviation-related. If you’re in Aviation it’s a lot of fun, but for people who aren’t in Aviation they would definitely still have a blast.

Ryan Caniete is a first-year Avionics student who discovered the club through posters around campus and has been enjoying the club experience.

“I kind of wanted something to do with my free time that was interesting, as well as something that could help to get my co-curricular record up,” Caniete said. “The lock-wire workshop was my favourite so far because at the beginning of the semester I was struggling with how to do it, but because of Denis and Miranda here, they really helped me and showed me techniques to help me get really good at it.”

Aviation students pose for a photo inside of a helicopter.
Mohawk Aviation Club members get a chance to be up close and personal with aircraft.

The group typically meets every two weeks on Tuesday evenings, with some meetings on the occasional Thursday for those who can’t make it on Tuesdays.

Newsletters are sent out to let members know about events and meetings in advance, as well as if there are activities with a maximum capacity.

To join the club, a sign-up form is available at: https://forms.gle/ueiwSiUatkjt6Wav6 and if there are any questions, you can email mohawk.aviation.club@gmail.com

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