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209 Reach for the Skies!

Article posted: Nov 23, 2014 by Sqn Ldr Wilson

On Saturday the 8th of November I travelled to RAF Cranwell for a day flying at 7 AEF Squadron with 5 other Cadets from 209 (West Bridgford) Squadron.

We woke up very early and got to the squadron 07.50 in the morning for the bus to take us to the RAF station. On the bus with us there were a few other Nottinghamshire squadrons who would also have a day of flying.

Upon arriving at RAF Cranwell we were taken to the room where we had to wait for our flight, there is normally the option to watch a film in this room; it is normally Top Gun…
In the waiting room we were shown the brief video for flying. This video normally tells us how to parachute out an aircraft. There is no need to worry as this event rarely ever happen. Four at a time we were taken to the ‘chair o plane’. This was a mock up of the aircrafts cockpit; here we practice the evacuation procedure for abandoning the aircraft. After this we were taken to the kit room. We were given a flying suit, helmet, parachute and most importantly a sick bag! Once we were kitted up it was our turn to fly.

The aircraft we fly in Air Cadets is the Grob tutor; it has side by side seating and is great for experiencing the thrill of flight. We were taken to an aircraft and helped get strapped into the aircraft by a member of the ground crew. When we get into the aircraft the pilot talks to you and introduces himself, don’t be shy all the pilots are very nice. You will then taxi out to the runway to take off but not before pre flight checks, the pilot will also point out the main cockpit controls and instruments.

I find take-off one of the best parts of the flight. Sometimes we get the opportunity to do aerobatics in the aircraft but unfortunately the cloud was to low for us to do it that day. Once in the air I got to do a navigation exercise instead, which consisted of flying the aircraft to various points; it was very exciting and a great opportunity to actually get to handle the aircraft.

It is great seeing the views from the cockpit. Once our flight had finished we returned to the airfield and completed two circuits of the airfield as well as doing two ‘touch and go’s’ on the runway before we had to finish the flight. It was a great flight; I got to fly the aircraft for most of the flight as well as do the navigation exercise, it is also nice to have a chat with the pilot.

After the landing we handed in the kit we had used and waited in the room for the others to finish their flights, waiting was not bad though as we got to watch a film!! At the end of the days flying the weather took a turn for the worse and there was torrential rain, luckily everyone had already their flight before the rain began. The rain was very bad on the bus back to the squadron.

I very much enjoyed the flight and the day spent at RAF Cranwell and I think any cadet who has the chance to go should definitely go, and don’t be scared about it! Everyone who went got a flight and all seemed to enjoy it.

Cadet A. Watson
209 (West Bridgford) Squadron