September 10th 2013

Swadlincote Air Cadets Gliding at RAF Syston

Sunday 6 October saw four young Cadets from 1211 (Swadlincote) Squadron Air Training Corps travel to RAF Syston in Leicestershire for their first airborne experience in a Viking Glider Aircraft.

Despite the early start, meeting Sergeant Chris Andrews at the Squadron Headquarters in Eureka Park at 7am, Cadet Liam Woodfield, aded 14 years, said:  “It was an amazing experience as I have never been gliding before and we even learnt how to help launch the aircraft from the ground.”

Upon arrival at RAF Syston, in particular 643 Volunteer Gliding Squadron, the cadets and members of staff were given a Pre Gliding brief and a video briefing which happens at the beginning of everyday a cadet goes gliding with the Air Cadet Organisation.
The video briefing gave cadets an understanding of how to be safe in the glider and in and around the airfield with an emphasis being put on warning the youngsters about foreign object damage (FOD) as the cadets had never visited a live airfield before as they are relatively new to the Squadron.The pre gliding briefing involved a member of the Volunteer Gliding Squadrons Flight Staff Cadets holding a short question and answer session to make sure the cadets understood what they were being told in the video, this session also involved a practical demonstration on how too put a flying suit and a parachute on correctly.
Cadet Liam Woodfield, aged 14 years, Cadet Sophie Woodfield, aged 13 years, Cadet Chloe Laud, aged 14 years, and Cadet Lee Gallagher, aged 14 years, each spent at least 25 minutes in the aircraft, where they had the opportunity to complete their 1st Gliding Induction course. This means that during their time in the glider they learnt about how the pitch is changed in a glider, which is looking at how the aircraft moves up and down in the sky, how the rudder affects the yaw plane, how to change the rolling plane and how to react when the glider stalls. All of these terms affect how the glider moves in the air and each cadet has the opportunity to learn about this first hand during their flight.
Shortly after the event, Cadet Sophie Woodfield said: “On the way too RAF Syston I was a bit nervous, but it was a good experience because it was my first time gliding and I really enjoyed it. I shall look forward to taking part in a Gliding Scholarship when I am 16 as I am interested in developing my skills enough to go solo one day.”
Overall, all four cadets enjoyed their day gliding and are looking forward to the opportunity to being invited back in the near future and are very grateful to Sergeant Andrews for driving them to RAF Syston so that they could take up this amazing oppurtunity.
1211 (Swadlincote) Squadron opens its doors four times a year to prospective new cadets, male and female aged between 13 – 17 years.For more information on joining the air cadet organisation in your area, please contact the Squadron Commander, Flight Lieutenant Alyn Thompson at or by phone on 01283 212629