FALL RIVER: A passion for aviation has led two Fall River youth to join the Dartmouth Kiwanis Air Cadets—and they think more of their peers should join.

Alexander Lies and Andrew MacKay, both in their fourth year with the program, say their love and zest for aviation and what it provides led them down the path to becoming Air Cadets.

“I heard about Air Cadets a few years ago and joined up and haven’t looked back since,” said Lies.

MacKay joined because of his friend joining, and also his enjoyment of aviation. He says he’s made a few good friends through the program as well.

Lies said he enjoys all the experiences he gets out of.

“It’s everything we do from camp, or courses to even meeting new people and learning new things everyday,” said the Lockview High student.

MacKay said there’s a “group feeling” with cadets.

Lies talked about some of the courses they do which can vary from two weeks to six weeks.

“It’s required for every Cadet to take a basic general course, and we both took that,” said TBA. “The camps the following year are usually three weeks in length, and then the year after that it’s six weeks.”

Both are working towards gaining their flight license before they’re old enough to drive a car.

“We did the entrance exam and we both did really well on that,” said Lies as TBA nodded in agreement. “We’re waiting to hear now if we’re accepted. If you get in you can have your pilots license, which is for Gliders, before you get your drivers license.”

“It be really cool to be able to get our pilots license,” added MacKay.

Lies explained why other youth should think of joining the Air Cadets organization.

“It really is a great program and gives you a lot of experiences,” he said. “A lot of the stuff we do is very useful. It’s making new leaders. We do a lot of volunteering.

“Our squadron in particular does a lot of volunteering with other groups, and it’s a great feeling.”

Among the volunteering they have done, said MacKay, includes helping the Lions Club sell Christmas trees; Pancake breakfasts for seniors.

“We’re active in the community,” he said. “Another good part of being in Air Cadets is you make a lot of connections through camp. You’ll make lots of friends too.”

Lies said he’s learned a lot about responsibility through the program.

“We’ve learned a lot about teamwork and being a leader,” he said. “At our rank now, we’re getting to be more in the senior rank sow e have to take more responsibility in our role.

“I love this program. I just want to keep doing it.”

For more information on the Dartmouth Kiwanis Air Cadets, call 902-221-8783 or email