On Saturday 26 Feb 2011, three cadets from 2071 (Stamford) Sqn took to the skies for their first ever air experience flight in a Glider, at 643 VGS at RAF Syerston. Cadets Brackpool, Williams and McDermott managed to get two launches each, achieving the GIC 1 level training and issue of their certificates.
Cadet Rebecca Brackpool said “It was my first flight in a Glider and I loved it. I couldn’t believe how fast we took off, but it soon became very peaceful. I took the controls and learned how to pitch the aircraft” Cadet Kieran Williams said of his experience “I loved it, and can’t wait until next year when I will be 16 and eligible to apply for a Gliding Scholarship”.
CI Paul Ferguson, the supervising adult from 2071 Sqn said “On arrival the weather looked like it was going to be against us, however, there was a gap and the weather was well within limits for flying. The team at 643 VGS very quickly sprung into action and within a short time the first aircraft was launched, which contained Cdt Brackpool.
Becky was very excited to be first and we all heard her shriek as the cable went all out. On a personal note, I managed to make contact with a former RAF colleague who is a qualified Gliding Instructor at 643, Mr Rois Lorenz. Rois and I both served in the RAF as Fire-fighters back in the early 80’s and I immediately recognised him after all those years. We swapped many stories throughout the day, and the surprise finally came when I was asked if I wanted to fly? The next surprise was yet to come when I learned that my pilot was going to be Rois!
I did my Gliding Scholarship back in 1980 when I was a cadet and last flew in a glider in April 1983, where I flew at Syerston with the RAF. I managed to get the last two sorties of the day and took the controls during both flights. It brought back a lot of memories, although I flew my solo in a Kirby Cadet Mk3 which had no canopy and very basic instrumentation.
I would urge every cadet in the Wing to seize the opportunity to go gliding. I would also like to thank the Instructors and Staff Cadets for making our visit to 643 VGS a very memorable one”.
CI Paul Ferguson