Aerospace Weekend at Cranwell

Fourteen enthusiastic Air Cadets have spent a day at the Central & East Region Activity Centre broadening their aeronautical experience.

Drawn from squadrons across the Region, the cadets were of varied ages and at differing levels in their Cadet journey, but eager to encompass the aeronautical knowledge to be gained during the Region’s one day course at RAF Cranwell two of which were held during a rather cold December weekend..

Under the leadership of the Region’s Aerospace Officer, Wing Commander Nathan Wilks, a team of dedicated and knowledgeable staff gave up their weekend to ensure the cadets obtained maximum benefit from the limited time available, making full use of the Region’s Activity Centre (RAC) and the excellent computer based simulators available.

IMG_6870Under simulated conditions, the cadets were to plan and fly a “sortie” as well as examining the Air Traffic Control procedures involved. Training and practice were available under the instruction and guidance of the Region Training Team to give the cadets the skill and confidence to perform the given tasks.IMG_6875

Planning for the sortie was carried out under real conditions in the planning room kindly permitted by 45(R) Squadron. With the Wing Commander providing the clear and concise instruction, the cadets planned out the route they would navigate taking into account the weather and characteristic of their “aircraft”.

DSCF6757Having completed the planning, the cadets, as either pilot or navigator, moved to the flight simulator, set up to emulate the Grob Tutor, flown at the Air Experience flights, and carried out the sortie, under the watchful eyes of Flight IMG_6761Lieutenant Kyle Aldridge and Qualified Aerospace Instructors (QAI), themselves cadets, who have completed their QAI Course and gained the coveted Blue Lanyard.

DSCF6763Whilst the “sortie is being flown, other cadets were learning the rudiments of Air Traffic Control on another simulator.

As the cadets on the course are keen to fly, there was an opportunity to complete the application for a Flying scholarship in the RACs comprehensive Computer Suite.

Two of the cadets on the course, Cadet Corporal Tilly Watts (16) of 301 (Bury St Edmund’s) Squadron and Cadet Lilly-Louise Cottrell (15) from 2160 (Sleaford) Squadron, thought it was really useful and a good insight into the complexities of flying. Not just the piloting and navigation of the aircraft but also the preflight planning and controlling when in the air. Tilly is hoping to join the RAF as an Aero Engineer after she has expanded her Air Cadet career with a hoped for place on the Air Cadet Pilot Scheme. Lilly-Louise, already interested in languages, is looking for a career as an Intelligence Analyst Linguist in the RAF.

A delighted Wing Commander Wilks said; “an absolutely fantastic weekend, condensed into two 1 day courses. This course has been intense, and the cadets have all done really well and stepped up to the mark. All have planned a full route including arriving at the destination airfield. In addition, 80% of the students took the opportunity to draft their Flying scholarship applications. A worthwhile weekend for all the cadets concerned and a satisfaction of a job well done by the volunteer staff”.

If this has whetted you appetite, look out for future courses next year.