Despite last weekend’s chilly weather three cadets from 1440 (Shoreham-by-Sea) Squadron came a step closer to realising their dreams of gliding when they spent the day at the former Battle of Britain airfield at RAF Kenley in Surrey. Corporal Michael Gray (14), Corporal Rosie Dyett (13) and Cadet Joseph Ramet (15) travelled to Kenley, the home of 615 Volunteer Gliding Squadron, to become the latest in a long line of Air Cadets to pass through their doors to begin their gliding experience.
Gliding is one of the RAF Air Cadets core activities and the team were at Kenley to beginning their training to earn their “wings.” The three spent time in the hanger with qualified gliding instructors, looking over the two-seat Grob Viking T1 glider that has been used to fly cadets for many years. They learnt about how the aircraft gets into the sky and more importantly what keeps them there without engines! They also learnt how an operational gliding airfield works and how they fit in to the bigger picture.
The cadets were all itching to get into the air but, as with all things, they needed to start at the beginning which for them this meant time firmly on the ground! The cadets were able to take control of the Viking simulator together with one of the instructor team where they were able to put into practice some of the theory they had learnt earlier in the day. Rosie, from Shoreham, said: “When it was my turn to go into the simulator, I was a bit nervous to start with but my instructor was really good and it was great fun!” Joseph added: “We learn about the principles of flight at the Squadron, but it has been great to be able to actually see how it all works and experience it for myself. I can’t wait to get into the air for real!”
Sergeant Leslie Ackerman, an adult volunteer at 1440 Squadron said: “By starting the cadets off using a simulator on the ground, they are able to understand the basics of how aircraft fly and what the controls do to affect that. This makes for a much better experience when they do take to the skies.”
Passing the Ground School element of their gliding training means that the team can now progress, take to the air and put into practice some of the things they learnt in the coming months.
Do you think you’ve got what it takes to be an Air Cadet, Adult Volunteer or member of our Support Committee? 1440 Squadron are keen to recruit young people aged between 12 (and in Year 8 at school) to 18 as well as adults who are keen to help us deliver the best opportunities to our cadets. Interested? Drop us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website http://www.1440sqn.org