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Top-Up Grants Keep Junior Ranks Airborne

Published: 21 Nov 2016


The RAF Charitable Trust (RAFCT) and The RAF Flying Clubs' Association are delighted to announce that 10 Junior Ranks (JR) personnel have been awarded a Junior Rank Pilot Scholarship Scheme (JRPSS) top-up grant.

The scheme is a joint initiative designed to enable more service men and women to learn to fly.

The lucky group of 10, based at RAF stations across the UK and Cyprus, were individually selected from the 2015 and 2016 intake. The top-up grant of £20,000 will provide each individual with an additional 15 to 20 hours of flying training, as well as nine ground examinations and a flight test with the aim of getting them 'over the line' and obtain a full Private Pilot's Licence. 

SAC William Tichband, one of the JRPSS top-up grant recipients, was overwhelmed by the award. He said: "This is fantastic - thank you very much for this amazing opportunity and making my lifelong ambition to fly a reality. I am absolutely over the moon!"

The scheme was launched in 2015 to improve the airmindedness of Junior Ranks by offering them flying experience and the opportunity to increase their knowledge and understanding of the technologies used in aviation. In just two years, the scheme has already benefitted 40 serving personnel. 

RAF Flying Clubs' Association Project Officer Flight Lieutenant Chris Hives said: "It was a pleasure to be able to tell these 10 young personnel that they had been awarded further funding towards flight training. There are many benefits that learning to fly can bring and it's great to know we are helping them on their path to success. 

"Some of the lucky JRs may even get to learn to fly in the new Tecnam training aircraft, based in Scampton, which was purchased by the RAFCT last year to enhance the delivery of the scheme. 

"Grants such as these from the RAFCT make an enormous difference to the lives of serving personnel across the UK, promoting and supporting airmindedness and the future of the RAF." 

The successful applicants are: Cpl Steven Buckley and SAC Joshua Lyons, RAF Scampton; SAC William Tichband and LAC Ryan Durnall, RAF Coningsby; A/Cpl Daniel O'Neil and SAC Samuel Mear, RAF Benson; Cpl Anthony Barnes, RAF Cosford; SAC Aaron Gracha, RAF Akrotiri; Cpl Charlotte Williams, JHC HQ Andover, and SAC Neil Robinson, RAF Brize Norton.

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