Nuneaton teenager Jonathan Kendall has just become one of only a handful of Air Cadets in Nuneaton to qualifies for his 'Solo Glider Pilot Wings.'
He wasn't even old enough to take a driving lesson when he started glider pilot training, but 17-year-old Jonathan, a sixth-former studying
A-levels at Nuneaton's King Edward VI College, is now boasting that head-in-the-clouds feeling.
Jonathan who lives on Horeston Grange in Nuneaton is a Cadet Corporal with
121 (Nuneaton) Squadron of the Air Training Corps based in Attleborough, and he's celebrating his latest Air Cadet achievement.
During his time with the Air Cadets Jonathan has taken a full and active part in a wide range of adventurous activities and sports. He's been on camps at RAF stations and has flown in several different types of aircraft but according to Jonathan, “There's nothing quite so exciting as being able to fly an aircraft on your own”. He added, “Having to get into the cockpit of the Grob 109 Vigilant motorised glider, taxi out to the runway, takeoff and fly your very first solo circuit and land the thing in one piece. You've got too much to remember to let your nerves get the better of you, but it's the best adrenalin rush I've ever had and I would recommend it to anyone.”
Jonathan took his Air Cadet Gliding Scholarship course at 633 Volunteer Gliding School (VGS), which is based at RAF Cosford. The Gliding Scholarship course is available to cadets of 16 years of age or above. The course consists of up to 8 hours of training in the Vigilant motorised glider to achieve Dark Blue GS wings. Cadets showing the necessary aptitude like Jonathan are invited to progress with additional training up to a 'solo' standard and achieve the Silver GS solo wings.
His commanding officer in Nuneaton , Flight Lieutenant Ian Crewe, said: "We are all very proud of Corporal Kendall, it takes a lot of commitment and hard work to get the silver wings. Glider pilot training is one of the core activities for Air cadets and it's the unique opportunity to fly that makes the Air Cadets so different from any other youth organisation. Our Gliding Courses have been the first step in the flying career of generations of young Air Cadets”.