Logan Page – RAF Cadets

As a member of the Royal Air Force Air Cadets, I’ve had the opportunity to start my career in aviation with multiple training and experience flights in both RAF initial training aircraft (which are the Grob Tutor and Viking T1 gliders). These flights often take place at official, fully operational, RAF bases. So, for example, my time in the Grob Tutor has been split between RAF Cosford and RAF Wittering, whilst my flights in the Viking T1 was at RAF Little Rissington.

The day does start early but its undoubtedly worth it. You start by making your way to a chosen location where you meet with about 10 other cadets from up to 5 other squadrons. Then you travel to the location of the flight and then the day truly begins. The first hour comprises of basic training such as safety measures in case of a very rare emergency. The training covers basic things such as canopy release and using a parachute, followed by some extra medical checks to ensure you’re fit to fly.

Whether you’ve had plenty of flight experience or none at all, you are near enough guaranteed time at the controls. Once in the cockpit the key differences between the two aircraft become apparent. The Viking T1 requires smooth gentle movements as it has no engine and relies solely on aerodynamics and the hunt for thermals. Thermals are simple columns of hot air which are utilised by the pilot due to increase the altitude by many hundreds of feet. The Grob Tutor is a powered aircraft and doesn’t need to use thermals to stay airborne and isn’t subject to the same manoeuvrability limitations. This means that tighter turns, high ‘G force’ movements, zero ‘G force’ movements, and even aerobatics is possible and depending on the experience of the cadet, can place the cadet in controls of rolls and loops.

Of course, my time in the air and time at Air Cadets is great fun with great people. However, these activities do have a deeper purpose, that being a career. Since the first lockdown I longed to be in the air and flying which spurred my desire to join what is the best flying institution, the Royal Air Force. The aim after A-Levels is to progress on to university, whilst simultaneously joining a University Air Squadron which is in essence a step between Air Cadets and the RAF, there is certainly a bigger emphasis on flying and that can only be a good thing!

Logan Page