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Trust Scholars Go Solo

Published: 06 Jun 2016

The first two scholars taking part in this year's RAF Charitable Trust (RAFCT) sponsored Junior Ranks' Pilot Scholar Scheme (JRPSS) have achieved solo standard in record time.

Senior Aircraftsmen Aaron Garcha and Stephen Moseley, based at RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus, undertook the JRPSS Flying Training Course at RAF Brize Norton at the end of May and achieved solo after just 10 days.

After completing their flight, the two were presented with their 'first solo' certificates by Group Captain Simon Edwards, the Station Commander of RAF Brize Norton.

RAF Brize Norton Chief Flying Instructor, Wing Commander Matt Lane, said: "It has been a delight to have Aaron and Steve training with us. From the outset, they were both extremely committed, keen to learn and progressed rapidly through the syllabus.

"Thanks to the sterling efforts of QFI Flt Lt Nigel Pitchforth and with the brilliant support of Brize Air Traffic Control they both soloed in record time. I was lucky enough to personally instruct a few of their training sorties as well, and I can say they are excellent ambassadors for the JRPSS and an absolute credit to their rank and trades."

The JRPSS was launched as a joint venture by the RAF Flying Clubs' Association and the RAFCT in 2014. The venture proved so popular that the initial grant of £20,000 to fund eight scholarships was doubled to fund 16 by RAFCT Trustees.

This year 367 applications were received for the 24 scholarships on offer to Servicemen and women based at RAF stations across the UK and Cyprus thanks to a grant of £60,000 from the Trust.

Wg Cdr Matt Lane adds: "The JRPSS is a unique opportunity for hard working and dedicated junior ranks to gain basic flying training experience and build skills in the aviation environment.

"Many of our past scholars are now undergoing ATC, rear crew and officer training after the JRPSS gave them the confidence and drive to progress. I look forward to seeing them progress in their flying and RAF careers."

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