Flying Scheme Reaches Centenary Milestone
Published: 30 Nov 2017
A popular flying scholarship scheme funded by the RAF Charitable Trust and run by the RAF Flying Clubs' Association is set to reach its '100 Solos' milestone next year.
The RAF Junior Ranks' Pilot Scholarship Scheme (JRPSS) has already seen 70 JRs get airborne since it was established in 2015 and now, thanks to a grant of £82,500 from the Trust, a further 30 are set to learn to fly next year.
The window for applications opens this month (December) with RAFFCA expecting to exceed the record 468 applications it received from serving RAF Regular and Reserve Junior Ranks last year.
RAF Charitable Trust Director Justine Morton said the scholarship scheme is one of the charity's great success stories, helping to increase JRs' aviation knowledge and widen their horizons. She said: "Trustees were mindful that as 2018 marks the RAF's centenary it would be fantastic for the JRPSS to reach its own milestone to mark this special year. To have enabled 100 members of the Junior Ranks to gain a deeper appreciation of aviation by learning to fly solo is a great achievement and makes a huge contribution towards their personal and professional growth."
The 30 successful candidates will receive 15 hours of flying instruction on a light aircraft, which may count towards a Light Aircraft Pilot Licence (LAPL). All necessary equipment to undertake the training at selected RAF flying clubs will also be provided through the scholarship, including flying suits and study packs.
RAFFCA Chairman Air Cdre Al Seymour said: "It has been a refreshing pleasure and privilege to see our JRs so enthused and engaged by the wonderful opportunity the JRPSS affords them. It has been fascinating to see the scheme maturing as a project since conception and the continued support and unwavering commitment from RAFCT Trustees is remarkable."
RAFFCA Project Officer Sqn Ldr Chris Hives said: "It has been a privilege to be part of the JRPSS, the success of which has surpassed all expectations. Following the lucky JRs through their training and witnessing them take command of an aircraft is extremely satisfying.
"Moreover, having gained an inner-confidence through their training and a desire to progress even further, the JRPSS has also delivered tangible benefit to the Service with 12 scholars being successful in their application for commissioning. Seeing the 100th Scholar fly solo in the Service's Centenary year will be a very special moment indeed."
The window for JRPSS 2018 applications will open on 1 Dec 17 until 31 Jan 18 through the scheme's website at www.JRFLY.co.uk
Selection will take place in early March, with winners notified shortly afterwards.