An Air Cadet from Corby has been awarded his flying wings after qualifying as a pilot in December 2010. Flight Sergeant Lee Ferris (19) attended a number of flying training courses at RAF Leuchars in Scotland, with a final course taking place in December. On Sunday 14th December 2010 Lee flew solo in an Air Training Corps Grob Tutor aircraft for the first time.
Lee, who hopes to become a Royal Air Force pilot, began his flying career aged just 13 through joining the Air Cadet Organisation where he participated in a large number of Air Experience Flights and Gliding induction courses as well as learning about both practical and theoretical aviation from a team of qualified instructors. When Lee turned 15 he took advantage of the Air Cadet Organisation´s Flying Scholarship scheme which allows its members to qualify as pilots absolutely free of charge.
After recording sufficient in-flight training hours, Lee began preparation for his first solo flight which he ultimately completed with great success.
Lee, who was also recently awarded his Gold Duke of Edinburgh´s Award, said, “Being airborne is the most wonderful feeling in the world, especially when you are doing it all on your own.”
The Corby Squadron´s Commanding Officer, Flight Lieutenant Rob McKellar, said, “The Air Cadet Organisation is the only institution in the whole of the United Kingdom which allows people as young as 13 to take part in flying and gliding training absolutely free. Corby Squadron alone offers about fifty flying and gliding slots in any given year and it is always a delight to see the immense degree of enjoyment that our Cadets draw from it.”
The Air Cadet Organisation provides its members with thousands of pounds worth of flying, gliding and target shooting training every year completely free of charge. This is in addition to adventure training, the prestigious Duke of Edinburgh´s Award, seven major sports and BTEC Vocational Qualifications.