The days flying slot got off to an early start for me. As soon as I arrived downstairs at 8.30 am for breakfast my mobile rang. Noticing the four missed calls and taking this as a bad sign I answered expecting the worst. At the other end of the line a Cadet who shall remain nameless explained that he thought he’d arrived at the Squadron at the wrong time. He said he’d been there since 7.30. I told him the correct meeting time was 10.10 and went and had my breakfast.
We arrived at RAF Cranwell in a blaze of sunshine on one of the hottest days of the year. This was in total contrast to our last flying slot in February which was on one of the windiest days of the century! Consequently we had never left the Squadron as flying was cancelled.
Taking advantage of the good weather I volunteered my Cadets to pose for our Squadrons recruitment poster. I eventually got the sun, the Tutor, the Cadets and the banner in the right place. When they got up from kneeling all the Cadets made various sounds as if they were old women! However their aged knees carried then back to the briefing room for the safety video.
Once kitted up in helmets, parachutes and sunglasses the Cadets were escorted to their allotted Tutor and strapped in. Cadet Fajar Rizal (14) was flying for the first time and said of his flight, “It was amazing. As the plane climbed I could feel the pressure on my chest and going down felt like a rollercoaster ride. The aerobatics we flew included a Cuban 8, a few loops and a barrel roll. I’m definitely going again!”
The longest flight of the day was enjoyed by Corporal Michael Disney. He was airborne for an hour. It seems Cpl Disney’s pilot who has previously flown Tornados, Typhoons and F16’s was going to receive some ‘banter’ back in the crew room from the other AEF pilots for taking his time!The afternoon ran smoothly and in what seemed like no time all the Cadets had flown and it was time to return home, still in a blaze of spring sunshine.