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Pilots Test Motivational Flight Packages

Published: 25 Feb 2015

TWO PILOTS from 644 VGS at RAF Syerston have taken to the skies as the first to try new motivational gliding packages, made available to the Air Cadet Organisation through a grant of £25,000 from the RAF Charitable Trust.

The Trust's donation is part of its commitment to Air Cadet gliding, with this money being put towards the specific aim of keeping staff members motivated and maintaining their skills while the Air Cadet gliding fleet is unavailable.

Flt Lt Mat Faulkner and Civilian Gliding Instructor (CGI) Lewis Whitmore, both from 644 VGS, were the first two staff members to benefit from the grant, taking off from The Gliding Centre at Husbands Bosworth Airfield near Lutterworth in Leicestershire.

Flt Lt Faulkner commented: "I arrived mindful that I hadn't flown for some nine months. The weather was challenging - high winds, varying cloud base and bitter cold - and the programme, including spinning and aerobatics, exciting!

"I enjoyed three flights on the first day in the Puchaz, then moved to the K21 on the Sunday to disprove the theory that it wouldn't spin, and to try some aerobatics.

"It was incredible fun, mentally challenging and a valuable learning experience, and I'd like to thank the Charitable Trust for providing the opportunity and the team at the centre for their patience and skill in delivering the training."

CGI Whitmore said: "The exercises were immense fun and incredibly useful to me as a pilot, especially the spin awareness training. That's something we do not tackle
within the Air Cadet gliding domain and understanding how a spin can occur has reinforced the reasoning behind some of our strictest flying procedures.

"I would like to thank the Charitable Trust for making this amazing opportunity
available to myself and other Air Cadet instructors who are, no doubt, equally as eager to
return to the sky as I am. It has made me a more aware pilot, and will augment my ability to instruct
effectively once the Air Cadet gliding fleet returns to normal operations."

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