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Skies The Limit For Cadets At Aerospace Camp

Published: 26 Sep 2016


Air Cadets have been celebrating the organisations 75th anniversary by returning to its aviation roots at a National Aerospace Camp, sponsored by the RAF Charitable Trust.

Hosted by No.2 Flying Training School at RAF Syerston the camp offered a diverse range of activities with an aviation focus to over 200 cadets who travelled from around the country and Cyprus to attend.

Amongst the many activities taking place at the camp was the opportunity to learn the basics of flying in the Charitable Trust sponsored Part Task Trainers (PTT) - pictured. These simulators allow cadets to get a feel for aircraft instruments and how an aircraft operates under the guidance of qualified instructors.

The camp also saw the first cadets in two years take to the skies in gliders after the organisation saw all of its airframes grounded for maintenance. Those cadets that were lucky enough to be selected to fly a glider were able to put the skills they had learnt in the PTTs to the test.

With a focus in aviation and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) the camp's activities included radio tasking, drone operations, Air Traffic Control and time on a helicopter simulator. Many of these activities were run with the help of Qualified Aerospace Instructor cadets who were able to put into practice skills they had learnt on previous courses. 

Visits were also made to RAF Scampton, RAF Coningsby and Newark Air Museum amongst other places in order to provide cadets with a broad insight into the aerospace industry.

The Charitable Trust provided a grant of £10,000 to help fund the camp which was used for both logistics and activities including a visit to the National Space Centre.

Warrant Officer Neil Morris said "The camp couldn't have happened without the grant from the Charitable Trust. It's that sort of support that is vital for the cadet force from Squadron level up and it's been an indescribable help.

"The point of the camp was to put the Air into the Air Training Corp and to inspire young people to be interested in aviation and STEM subjects. The Air Cadet Organisation was set up to foster an interest in aviation and we've tried to refresh that message for the current crop of cadets at this camp."

Amanda Butcher, Director of the RAF Charitable Trust, said "the Trustees were delighted to support this event as it not only supports the Air Cadets as individuals, offering them a unique experience, but it also fitted so well with the Trust's aims of encouraging airmindedness and aviation related education."

For many cadets the camp provided an opportunity to learn more about an industry they might one day be a part of. 

"The best part of the camp for me was the opportunity to fly in a King Air at RAF Cranwell with two RAF pilots," said Paul from Middlesbrough. "Afterwards we got to ask them questions and get advice about the application process for the RAF. 

"I've just finished my A Levels and I'm looking towards the next step so it was a great opportunity that I wouldn't have had anywhere else." 

Caption: Cadets learn the basics of flying on a Trust sponsored Part Task Trainer

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