CAF Story | Cpl Reyda: “My road to the CF-18”

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I started wanting to fly F/A-18s at the age of 12. I saw the F/A-18 do the high-alpha manoeuver at an air show, and I fell in love with the airplane.

At the age of 13, found out that because you wear glasses you can’t fly, so from 13 until now has been a road to get to the F/A-18 and to fix it. I started out as a cadet in Peace River, Alberta, and became an avionic system tech in 2010.

I’m Corporal Mike Reyda from Cold Lake, Alberta. I’m an avionic systems technician. That’s everything that runs off electricity: the computers, the radios, the radar.

Right now we’re helping with Maple Flag. We’re assisting with Blue Air and Red Air. Blue Air’s the good guys, Red Air’s the bad guys. So we’re flying lots of missions. We usually train new students, and they’re harder on airplanes because they’re learning. Lots of missions doing that and lots of fixing airplanes because they’re still trying to get used to the airplane.

When it’s a hard snag, and you’ve been working on it a while and you find the problem and get it fixed and get the jet on the line, that’s the most satisfying thing to have happen.I wanted to work on this airplane. It’s been a lifelong goal and I’ve accomplished it quite early. Which means I now have to make another goal, and work to that one.

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