For most young people flying means going on holiday. They will never take control of an aircraft themselves but for a group of young Nuneaton based Air Cadets who recently took to the skies for the first time when they visited RAF Cosford, taking control was what it was all about.
This was the first time that the group of seven thirteen and fourteen-year-olds from 121 ( Nuneaton ) Squadron had been flying with the Air Cadets. They all had a 30 minute flight in one of 633 Volunteer Gliding Squadron's Grob 109 Vigilant motorised gliders, not long by holiday flight standards but a flight in a Vigilant when you get to fly the aircraft yourself is something completely different.
Each cadet underwent what is known as Part 1 of a Gliding Induction Course (GIC). The Gliding Induction Course enables cadets to take control of the aircraft themselves as the instructor guides them through a series of exercises designed to demonstrate basic maneuvers and give the cadets practical hands-on flying experience.
During a GIC flight the pilot taxis out to the runway, takes off and finds some clear airspace, then it's time for you to take control. When the pilot hands over the control of the aircraft, you will hear the words, "You have control." You then place your hand on the control column and your feet on the rudder peddles and reply, “I have control sir” and that's it, you're now flying one of the Air Cadet Vigilant gliders . Don't worry, the pilot will guide you through the controls and explain everything you need to do.
The latest group of Nuneaton based Air Cadets to take control during their first flight proudly show of their Certificates.
(L to R) Cadets Deanna Young, Jack Humphries, Kieran Pocock, Davey Whittaker, Luke Randle, Mathew Carrington and Samantha Jeynes
After her flight, fourteen-year-old Cadet Deanna Young said, “This was the first time I've been flying with the cadets, as I have only been with the Squadron for a short time. It was a totally new experience. The best part of the flight was when I got to take control of the glider. The pilot said, 'You have control', once I was comfortable with the controls I replied 'I have control, sir!' It was quite scary to begin with but once I adjusted myself to it, it was great fun. I would definitely recommend it to anyone and I can't wait to fly again.
Flt Lt Ian Crewe Officer Commanding 121 ( Nuneaton ) Squadron said. “This was the first time that any of these cadets had been flying and the Gliding Induction Course has given them a taste of what it's like to take control of an aircraft themselves. Its one thing going in a holiday jet but it's a different story in a two-seater airplane with a parachute strapped to you”.
He added, “Glider pilot training is one of the core activities for Air cadets. It's the unique opportunity to fly that makes the Air Cadets so different from any other youth organization, so if you're interested in flying and want to take control yourself why not join our team”.