Glider experience gives Shoreham air cadets first taste of flying

Three Shoreham air cadets cannot wait to take to the skies, having started their glider training.

As keen as they are to fly, they accept they have to start their learning on the ground and are just pleased to have made the first step towards realising their dreams of gliding.

Corporal Michael Gray with his instructor at Kenley

Corporal Michael Gray with his instructor at Kenley

Corporal Michael Gray, 14, Corporal Rosie Dyett, 13, and Cadet Joseph Ramet, 15, travelled to Kenley, the home of 615 Volunteer Gliding Squadron and former Battle of Britain airfield in Surrey, to start their training.

Joseph said: “We learned about the principles of flight at the squadron but it has been great to be able to actually see how it all works and experience it for myself. I can’t wait to get into the air for real.”

Gliding is one of the air cadets’ core activities and a long line of them has passed through the doors at Kenley.

The trio from 1440 (Shoreham-by-Sea) Squadron spent time in the hangar looking over the two-seat Grob Viking T1 glider that has been used to fly cadets for many years.

Cadet Jospeh Ramet at the controls

Cadet Jospeh Ramet at the controls

Neil Worth, civilian instructor, said: “They learned about how the aircraft gets into the sky and, more importantly, what keeps them there without engines. They also learned how an operational gliding airfield works and how they fit in to the bigger picture.

“The cadets were all itching to get into the air but, as with all things, they needed to start at the beginning, which for them, this meant time firmly on the ground.”

The cadets were able to take control of the Viking simulator, with support, and were able to put into practice some of the theory they had learned.

Rosie said: “When it was my turn to go into the simulator, I was a bit nervous to start with but my instructor was really good and it was great fun.”

Corporal Rosie Dyett at the contols of the simulator

Corporal Rosie Dyett at the contols of the simulator

Passing the ground school element of their gliding training means the team can now progress, take to the air and put into practice some of the things they learned in the coming months.

Sergeant Leslie Ackerman, an adult volunteer at 1440 Squadron, said: “By starting the cadets off using a simulator on the ground, they are able to understand the basics of how aircraft fly and what the controls do to affect that. This makes for a much better experience when they do take to the skies.”

The squadron is keen to recruit young people aged 12 to 18, as well as adult volunteers. Email or visit for more information.

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