It’s been a busy summer for one of 1360 (Stapleford and Sandiacre) Squadrons Cadet Flight Sergeants. After attending a nerve racking interview to gain the Ralph Reid Buckley Gliding Bursary, Cadet Flight Sergeant Oliver Kirk (17) was given the news that he had successfully been chosen to attend a course of being taught how to pilot a glider solo. Being awarded the bursary is a fantastic opportunity for any cadet to get involved with. In July this year Oliver travelled down to Buckminster Gliding Club, where he would be taking to the skies to learn how to fly solo.
The aircraft he would be flying is the clubs newest aircraft the ASK-21 and this would be home for him while in the air. Alongside this, Oliver also had the opportunity to do spin training in a K13. The bursary week started off with the checking over of the aircraft to make sure it was safe to fly. Next he would be taking to the air with an instructor behind him. The instructor straight away handed over the control of the aircraft and it was Ollie’s time to take control. Throughout the week, he learnt how to land the aircraft and deal with situations like launch failures and spinning. This involves plummeting towards the ground and having to make split second decisions with safety in mind.
Unfortunately due to poor weather, a solo flight was not possible so through the Flight Sergeants determination to finish the course and attain his wings he came back the following week in order to go solo. Going solo means he is the only body in the aircraft without an instructor, he had to launch fly and land successfully, which he successfully achieved. Oliver was the first person to go solo on his course and this just shows the hard work and effort he has put in.
Cadet Flight Sergeant Oliver Kirk said: “The course was an amazing success and I’m so pleased I was selected for it! To achieve an ambition as I have done is extremely satisfying and I would like to thank the members of the Ralph Reid Buckle Bursary and of Buckminster Gliding Club for giving me the opportunity to do so.”
Plt Off Macpherson OiC 1360 Sqn said, “This is an amazing achievement for a cadet to achieve and I congratulate Oliver on his exciting week. Well done from all the squadron.”