Cadets Take to the Skies

Senior School
17 Oct 19

On 7th October the RAF Cadets travelled by coach to RAF Wittering, where we were staying for one night before our amazing flying experience.  The following day, we were going to be flying a Grob Tutor aeroplane which is the training plane used by RAF pilots.

Travelling up to RAF Wittering was exciting and nerve-wracking.  Everyone was keeping their fingers crossed that the weather was going to be good enough to fly.  When we arrived, we were shown our rooms and then had a delicious dinner.  The RAF clearly has very high standards!

After dinner, we played a game of Rounders which Mr Westlake and Miss Oliver especially loved and played very competitively.  My team won, with Mr Westlake scoring our winning point.  By the end of the day, everyone was tired but really looking forward to flying in the morning.

At breakfast, the main conversation, yet again, was the weather.  We headed to the airfield where we were greeted by our instructors who were very friendly and knowledgeable.  A safety video explained how we would get out in case of an emergency, which we later practised using an aeroplane seat and a fake parachute.

We waited to make our flight, playing table tennis to entertain ourselves.  Then came my turn to fly!  I received all my safety equipment: a flight suit, white gloves, parachute and a helmet.  I was shown how to lower and raise my visor whilst I waited for my plane to land.  Excitement was building as I walked to the exit.  Mr Westlake led me to the aircraft, the ground crew helped me get in and finally I buckled up.  The pilot closed the canopy and got permission to taxi.

Once we were airborne, it was the greatest feeling ever.  The pilot told me I had control and I was then flying the plane!  He showed me how to do a loop-the-loop before I did this on my own, with me fully in control of the aircraft.  It was exhilarating!  I then learnt how to do a barrel role.  This was a lot harder and I was pulling more G’s in this manoeuvre.  After I completed the barrel role on my own, we headed back to base, with me still flying the aeroplane until the pilot finally took over for landing.  Unfortunately, poor weather meant that not everyone had the opportunity to fly but for those that did it was an incredible experience. Hopefully the weather will be on everyone’s side next time!

Jack Laing-Williams

Upper Sixth Form