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Trophy Success for Air Cadet Ben

Published: 10 Oct 2017

A teenager from Salisbury has scooped one of the Air Cadet Organisation's highest individual honours after being awarded the prestigious RAF Charitable Trust Flying Excellence Trophy.

Cadet Sergeant Ben Makin, 18, from Amesbury in Wiltshire, was presented with the trophy at the Royal Festival Hall, in London by HRH the Duke of Kent, on Monday (October 9).

Ben, a member of 1010 (City of Salisbury) Squadron, was one of nine Air Cadets awarded an Air Chief Marshal Sir Michael Knight Scholarship, sponsored by the RAF Charitable Trust.  This provided Ben with 33 hours' flying training with Tayside Aviation which saw him recently gain his Private Pilot's Licence. 

The scholarships are competed for nationally across the six regions of the Air Cadet Organisation each year and it is from among these successful scholars that the Flying Excellence Trophy is awarded.

RAFCT Director Justine Morton said Ben had not only demonstrated great flying ability but also possessed the highest personal qualities. 

She said: "Ben's an outstanding cadet with an infectious enthusiasm for flying. His approach to flying training was exemplary, setting the benchmark for other cadets to follow and he combined this with a willingness to help others. He was selected from an already impressive group of young people but his excellent personal and leadership qualities won through." 

The Andover College pupil, who hopes to join the Royal Air Force after his studies, said at first he couldn't believe he'd won the Trophy. He said: "Taking part in the scholarship scheme was amazing enough - and to get my PPL - but then to be told I'd won the trophy, it's incredible!"

He added: "I've wanted to fly ever since I began going to airshows and so, when I was 14, I decided to join the Air Cadets. Being an RAF pilot would be amazing but I'm also looking at other roles within the Service - anything that gets me up in the air!"

In addition to the trophy, Ben will receive a substantial flying bursary to help further develop his piloting skills and enable him to continue his journey in aviation.

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