When Nuneaton based Air Cadets visited RAF Cosford for a Glider flight, the weather looked set to put a dampener on the whole day.
On arrival at RAF Cosford, the eight teenage Air Cadets were keen to get up into the air and for two of them it was going to be their first Gliding Induction Course flight in one of 633 Volunteer Gliding Squadron's G109B Vigilant T1 motor gliders.
The weather conditions weren’t good to start with however three of the cadets managed to get a flight before the heavens opened and all the aircraft were grounded. Imagine the disappointment when the remaining five cadets saw that the gliders were being put back in the hanger, normally an indication that that’s the end of the days flying. Was the torrential rain going to put an end to their chances of getting airborne, would they all get to fly or would they be going home disappointed?
As it happened the weather improved significantly in the afternoon and the cadets all managed to get airborne.
Each cadet underwent what is known as 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 manoeuvres 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.
After her flight, thirteen-year-old Cadet Jennifer Daniels said, “This was the first time I've ever been flying and I even got to have a go at flying the aircraft myself, how crazy is that? I have only been with the Squadron for a short time and 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.
Flight Lieutenant Paul Hincks Officer Commanding 121 ( Nuneaton ) Squadron said. “This was the first time that two 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”.
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”.
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