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Flying Scheme Back By Popular Demand

Published: 16 Dec 2015

A scheme supported by the RAF Charitable Trust (RAFCT) offering members of the RAF Junior Ranks the opportunity to learn to fly is back by popular demand - and applications are already flooding in!

The RAF Junior Ranks' Pilot Scholarship Scheme (JRPSS) was first launched last year by the RAF Flying Clubs' Association and the charity. It proved so popular that an initial grant of £20,000 to fund eight scholarships was doubled by RAFCT Trustees to enable more Servicemen and women based at RAF stations across the UK and Cyprus to benefit.

Now, members of the Junior Ranks can apply to win one of 24 scholarships in the 2016 scheme which, if they are successful, will give them the opportunity to learn to fly and achieve solo standard in a light aircraft.

RAFCT Director Amanda Butcher said Trustees were so encouraged by the number of applications received in 2015 that they have agreed to fund even more scholarships in 2016.

She said: "There's clearly a huge appetite among the Junior Ranks to increase their aviation knowledge and what better way to achieve this than by teaching them to fly. Trustees are always keen to fund initiatives that support RAF personnel and increase airmindedness, and the JRPSS ticks both these boxes. We're delighted by its continued success."

Within 24 hours of the 2016 scheme being launched this month (December), more than 40 applications had been received. The deadline to apply is February 29.

All of the flying undertaken by the 24 successful scholars may be logged towards the award of a full Flying Licence such as the National Private Pilot's Licence (NPPL). The training will take place at selected RAF Flying Clubs across the UK and Cyprus throughout the summer months.

RAF Flying Clubs' Association Project Officer Flt Lt Chris Hives said: "This is a fantastic opportunity for our JRs and feedback from the 'class of 2015 has been extremely positive. It has been pleasing to note that many have continued their training, post JRPSS, and will soon hold a full Private Pilot's Licence.  I would also like to highlight the progression of Cpl Steve Buckley, a photographer with the Red Arrows, who has not only continued to fly but has recently been selected to undertake an aerobatic flying training course and hopes to compete in his first aerobatic competition on 21 May 16 at RAF Halton."

For full details about the scheme and how to apply, visit

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