Ten Air Cadets from 209 (West Bridgford) Squadron have spent a day at RAF Shawbury. Their first port of call on the Station was 60 Squadron were pilots and Aircrew from all three services are taught to fly and operate helicopters. Each Cadet got to ‘fly’ in a helicopter simulator, trying to master the tricky combination of power control, joy stick and foot pedals. Some cadets quickly mastered the challenge, other just set off the helicopters master alarm!
The next stop was the Central Air Traffic School were once again the Cadets were in a simulator. This time it was an Air Traffic Towers Visual Control Room. Five floor to ceiling projector screens displayed an airfield similar to RAF Cottesmore. Onto this a demonstration computer film was displayed which had formations of Tornados landing, Hawk aircraft doing circuits, helicopters exercising and finished with a spectacular crash of a Hercules transport aircraft complete with simulated Fire Engines and Ambulances racing to the scene.
After lunch in the Airmans Mess the next destination was on the far side of the Airfield. The Aircraft Maintenance and Storage Hangers might not sound particularly glamorous but the two hangers we visited contained an eclectic assortment of aircraft. Red and black painted Hawk aircraft shared hanger space with Gazelle, Puma and Squirrel Helicopters as well as Tucano aircraft and some Tornado F3s which are now quite rare. In one hanger a pair of Tornado GR1 wings were on the floor so the Cadets took a fairly unique opportunity of ‘wing surfing’ on them.
Crossing back to the other side of the airfield the final visit of the day was to the Fire Section. There the Firefighters were only two happy to let the Cadets use the foam cannons on top of the Fire Engines, so much so they quickly emptied the Fire Engines water tanks.
Corporal Sarah Bramley (17) said of the trip, “The helicopter sim was great but I went too fast and ended up crashing upside down! Perhaps I should never choose a career as a Pilot. However operating the foam cannon on top of the Fire Engines was great fun.”