Cadets from both the Air Training Corps and CCF are offered opportunities to fly in light aircraft, gliders as well as other RAF and civil aircraft. There are plenty of opportunities open to cadets when flying, from aerobatics in the new Grob Tutor to practising stalls in a Grob Viking glider. Some Cadets who stand out from the rest may also get the opportunity to fly on a civil airliner or go on an overseas flight in an RAF Tri-Star, VC10 or Hercules. A few cadets have also had the opportunity to fly in a variety of other aircraft including fast jets and the Red Arrows. There are also exciting opportunities for cadets to learn how to fly, with scholarships for both powered flight and gliding. In general, every cadet will be given opportunities to fly during their time as an active member of an ATC or CCF squadron.

Air Experience

Air Cadets have the opportunity to fly with Royal Air Force pilots in Tutor aircraft. Flying takes place at one of 12 Air Experience Flights (AEFs) where cadets are shown how the aircraft flies and given the chance to control the aeroplane, experience aerobatics or simply admire the view. All Air Cadets get the opportunity to fly with the AEF each year. The ACO has had the benefit of powered aircraft since 1957 with the introduction of venerable DeHavilland Chipmunk aeroplanes which were replaced by the Bulldog in 1996. The latest replacement - Grob Tutor - recently entered AEF service, replacing the Bulldog. The Tutors are provided by a contractor, Bombardier Aerospace Defence Services, and the MoD, buys flying hours. The AEF task is based on 25 minutes per cadet per year, plus an allowance for staff continuation training, etc. AEF aircraft are flown by volunteer pilots, all of whom are current or former service pilots.


Induction Course

The Starting point for your gliding experience will be at a Volunteer Gliding Squadron (VGS) which will fly either Vigilant motor gliders or Viking winch launch gliders. You will begin by attending, with others from your Cadet Squadron or CCF unit, your affiliated VGS to be taught the Gliding Induction Course (GIC). The GIC has been designed to give you a taste for Air Cadet Gliding and consists of 3 different levels of instruction. You will be shown various aspects of aerodynamics that you will have been taught in the classroom before being taught the îeffects of controlsî in the air. You will have the opportunity to take control and practice what you have learned. On your first visit you will be taught the GIC 1 and your subsequent visits you will progress to GIC 2 and 3. After you have completed the course, you will be awarded a GIC certificate.

Course Content

Vigilant GIC 1 ñ 20 minutes
GIC 2 ñ 25 minutes
GIC 3 ñ 30 minutes
Viking GIC 1 ñ 3 launches
GIC 2 ñ 4 launches
GIC 3 ñ 5 launches

You will be shown and have the opportunity to practice
In Brief...

Flying Scholarship

The Royal Air Force Association is providing a Flying Scholarship scheme for male and female members of the ATC. The scheme offers a course of flying training in light aircraft and is primarily intended to encourage young people of high calibre to obtain a Private Pilots Licence. Training is given at selected clubs throughout the UK and covers all tuition needed for the award-holder to obtain a Private Pilots Licence, up to a maximum of 45 hours flying. This year's winners, Cadet Flight Sergeant Suzanne Lee of 58 (Harrogate) Squadron and Cadet Sergeant Timothy Strickland of 2397 (Devizes) Squadron both attended the RAFA National Conference in May to receive their awards and have taken up their training at flying schools of their choice close to their homes. Eligibility criteria and application forms can be obtained from:

The Royal Air Forces Association,
43 Grove Park Road,
London W4 3RX.


Apart from the AEF aircraft, many Air Cadets also get the opportunity of flying in a variety of other RAF aircraft. Some lucky individuals are put forward for passenger flights in 'fast jets'. During their 'careers' many Air Cadets will have flown in a variety of Service aeroplanes and helicopters - sometimes in the capacity of Supernumerary Crew. It is not unusual for some of these flights to include trips overseas. Most of these flights take place during Annual Camps when Cadets visit an RAF Station. Those Air Cadets with an aptitude for flying can apply for a number of courses, including Flying and Gliding Scholarships. As well as flying in military aircraft there are also regular opportunities for Squadrons to put forward Cadets for flights with Civil Airlines. Cadets get to join the crew in the cockpit for these flights and follow the action from the 'jump seat'. Unfortuantely, as a result of the tragedies of September 11, these have been temporarily suspended.