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I began my gliding career in 1999 when I was thirteen. I started with a course called a GIC (gliding induction course). It consisted of simple manoeuvres including pitch, roll and yaw. I joined cadets because I had a great ambition to fly.

In March of this year my flying career had a slight boost when my cadet warrant officer offered me a place at RAF Little Rissington to do a gliding scholarship. My aim was to within 8-10 hours of training to be able to reach solo standard in the Vigilant Air Cadet motor gliding. I have recently finished my course in July which means in total it has taken me around 4 months to complete. It took this time because of being affected by bad weather which was hard to work around because the aircraft had certain wind restrictions and we could not fly in the rain. Also with the airfield being 700 feet above sea level it was hard to find good weather. Also we had a diversion to RAF Brize Norton because of a James Bond film being recorded at our current airfield.

My course was coming to an end when I was due to go solo within a couple hours. It ended up with me flying with the officer in charge of the school which meant I was having my assessment. The pilot sat there and did nothing and I did all the flying. Doing this I had accomplished my ghost solo. It turned out that after my assessment I had flown a total of over 9 hours. For me to do a complete solo it would of went over the 10 hour boundary for the course. I was awarded with my blue wings which was a great honour because I could walk away saying I have flown that aircraft from takeoff to landing by myself at the age of 16, and to me that is a great achievement in my life and a memory that I will be proud of for a very long time.

Article Submitted by:-
Cpl Holland - 121 (Nuneaton) Squadron

Cpl Holland proudly wearing his newly acquired blue gliding scholarship wings. A great achievement for any
16 year old.

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