Only a year after joining the air cadets in the midst of national lockdown, these two Yorkshire teens have already taken to the skies!
Emily Richards, aged 14, left, and Katie Ashford , aged 16, bucked national trends to be among a small band of young people who actually joined the cadets when units could only operate online.
But now, little over a year on, their dedication to the cadets has paid off – and they have gained their first qualification for flying.
The pair, along with Thomas Powles aged 14, were the cadets from 868 (Mirfield) Squadron selected to be part of the contingent to visit RAF Syerston for the first Blue Wings gliding course of the year.
Their course started with an introductory briefing and some ground school training, including the controls of the aircraft and how they affect the glider in the air. They then moved out to the airfield to enjoy a series of three flights (each of about five minutes duration) in the Air Cadets’ winch-launched Viking glider, to put all their learning into practice and demonstrate the skills they had been taught in the air.
Katie who goes to Rishworth School, Calderdale said “I really enjoyed the course. Ground school was really interesting and it also taught us the safety procedures such as how to use a parachute in the event of an emergency, however the best part was being in the Viking glider and being allowed to use the controls.”
Blue Gliding Wings
All three enjoyed great success on the day, gaining their Blue Gliding Wings, and now hope to progress to the Bronze Wings course, which will further develop their gliding training.
868 Squadron Commander, Flight Lieutenant Peter Doubell, said: “ After all the trials of the Covid-19 pandemic and the restrictions that were placed on our activities, it is so pleasing that we can further progress on the road back to normality for the Air Cadets. We have seen a dynamic start to the year and the opportunity to include getting cadets into the air is so important, and a great experience for them, and one they would not get anywhere else.”