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Derby Cadets Spend Week at RAF Brize Norton

Article posted: Jul 13, 2009 by Sqn Ldr Wilson

Twenty Air Cadets from 126 (City of Derby) Squadron have spent a week on Summer Camp at RAF Brize Norton. The highlight of the week was a unique flight on a VC10 for a Tornado re-fuelling exercise over the Irish Sea.

The Cadets were over the moon last Tuesday when they were told that they were going to fly in a VC10. The VC10 was headed to the west of Scotland to re-fuel 10 Tornados. Whilst on board, the cadets were able to watch the Tornados approach the aircraft and hook on to the fuel line. The Tornados were so close that the cadets were able to wave to the pilots.

During the 3 hour flight the cadets also got the opportunity to visit the flight deck and talk to the pilot and navigator about their experiences in the RAF. Cadet Sergeant Leon Aldred said, “This has been the most amazing day of my life. The Tornados came so close you could see straight into the cockpit.”

The cadets were airborne again on Thursday. This time they were passengers on a Tristar for a flight training exercise over the Oxford countryside. The exercise involved take-off and landing drills. The flight was quite varied and bumpy and one cadet likened the journey to a trip to Alton Towers.

In addition to flying, the youngsters from Derby put their teamwork and confidence skills to the test on a High Ropes course. They were challenged to climb to the top of a 50ft pole and leap off, trusting only in their team mates and of course their safety harness.

The Summer Camp from 4th to 11th July was packed with many more activities including a tour around a C-17 Globemaster, a visit to the Air Traffic Control Tower, ice skating, bowling and a cultural visit to Oxford. Flying Officer Jackie Barker said, “This has been a thoroughly unique experience for the cadets. They have done things this week that most people will never achieve in their lifetime.”