My Amazing Air Cadet Summer
The following is Long Eaton Air Cadet, Flight Sergeant Bailey Wright’s account of his exciting and varied Summer Break from school which was spent taking full advantage of activities offered by the Air Cadet Organization.
Bailey during his 100 mile march in Holland
“My five week vacation started on the 14th July, when, after months of training, I set out to take part in the Nijmegen Four Day International Road March in Holland. This four day event is the largest walk of its kind in the world and entails walking 100 miles over four days. It was an amazing experience mixing with and talking to competitors from many other countries and discovering how different nations unite for this big event. I would recommend it to anybody. I spent a week in Holland returning to the UK after successfully completing the March on the 21st July.
Then on the 28th July I travelled to Royal Air Force Cranwell in Lincolnshire to complete the Air Cadet Leadership Course again following an injury. I spent a week there developing my leadership skills in the field and in the classroom doing many physical activities. The final phase was sleeping two nights out in the field, one night in a tent then the final night under our “Bashers” (rudimentary shelters built from whatever is at hand). On successfully graduating from the course there was a Graduation Parade on the Royal Air Force College Hall Officers Mess Parade Square, where the regular RAF Officers receive their Commissions. During this Parade we were presented with our badges.
Bailey’s (front row centre) Graduates from CranwellAfter graduating and seeing my parents, I was taken to Grantham Railway Station (4th August), where I had to take two trains and many London Underground trips to reach High Wycomb en route to RAF High Wycombe for a week long Summer Camp, experiencing life in the Royal Air Force and participating in different activities including visits to other nearby RAF Stations, to learn about the history of the RAF and look at some of the RAF’s latest and older aircraft. We were also able to visit preserved World War II bunkers. A very enjoyable week indeed.
Having travelled back from High Wycombe on the 11th August I managed a day’s rest before I heading off again on the evening off the 12th August this time for Buckminster Gliding Club near Grantham where, thanks to the Ralph Raid Buckle Flying Bursary, I had £500 worth of lessons learning to fly a glider. Only moderate progress was made at the beginning due to adverse weather which grounded the gliders for a couple of days. This caused a proposed week long course to turn into two weeks. However, by the end of the two weeks I was considered competent enough to attempt a solo flight in the ASK 21 glider. It was a fantastic feeling successfully completing a solo circuit, an amazing moment I shall never forget. On safely landing I was presented my Gliding Wings to proudly show off.
In all I was away for five weeks out of the seven week break. I have to say it was the best summer I have ever experienced and all of it was thanks to the Air Cadets.
I would like to say thank you to everyone that helped make it an unforgettable summer”
Baily is presented with his Gliding Wings after his solo flight
Although the summer is over, Bailey’s adventure is to continue. At the end of the month he takes up his place on the Sail Training Ship, TS Royalist, on board which, he and other cadets will learn to sail and work together in tough (and wet) conditions.
Cadet Flight Sergeant
2195 (Long Eaton)
Air Training Corps