After nearly 2 weeks training in Scotland, Cadet Warrant Officer Liam Osbiston (18) has achieved the solo standard required to fly a powered aircraft. The Air Cadet funded course gives 186 cadets a year this challenging opportunity, one which not every cadet will succeed in.
After travelling 7 hours far north to Dundee and living in luxury at a nearby Hilton hotel, CWO Osbiston met his 5 other course mates and got down to the nitty gritty of getting to know one another. 7 O’clock starts every morning for the 11 days was quite challenging for the teenage cadets. They arrived at Dundee Airport and began every day by pulling the 5 Grob Herron aircraft out of the hangar.
With the safe comfort of an instructor, the cadets learnt the basic controlling of the aircraft through to emergency procedures required to help keep them safe in the air. After a few hours of upper air exercises, the cadets moved on to take offs and landings and flying in the circuit, (the name for flying around the airfield).
All the cadets were progressing well, being looked after extremely well by the hotel staff and instructors at Tayside Aviation. By Tuesday of the next week and approximately 18 take off and landings, CWO Osbiston’s instructor informed him that he was ready after 10 hours of tuition to make his first solo flight. After completing all of his engine checks and making his radio calls to Air Traffic Control, his instructor climbed out of the aircraft, wished him luck and headed up to the tower to watch from the vantage point.
CWO Osbiston then lined up on the runway and took off for his 10 minute flight around Dundee airport. A calm wind meant a smooth approach followed by a perfect first landing. His instructor was then picked up and they taxied back to the clubhouse where he was meant by a rousing applause and congratulations from the rest of the instructors and course mates.
CWO Osbiston said, “This is by far the best course that I have completed in the Air Training Corps. The tuition and environment where we stayed and learned was second to none and it has allowed me to complete a major milestone on the path to becoming a pilot. I would recommend the course to anybody who has the chance and would like to thank my instructor, Marjan Bledowski for all of his expert help as well as everybody at Tayside Aviation and HQAC for giving me this opportunity.”
Chief Flying Instructor (CFI) for the air cadets said that CWO Osbiston showed great potential in the air as well as being a perfect role model for the Air Training Corps.
CWO Osbiston is the first cadet on the squadron to gain a flying scholarship and fly solo as a result. This will stand him in good stead for the rest of his career planning and we hope to see him go on and achieve his ambitions.