Flying is the most important and prestigious of the activities offered by the Air Training Corps, and the activity that sets above all other youth organisations in the country.
Air Experience Flying (AEF)
Your ATC flying career will probably begin in the Grob Tutor flying with 5 AIr Experience Flight (AEF) based at RAF Wittering. The Squadron is allocated a number of places each year. In addition AEF is normally included on the summer camp programme. With an RAF or RAFVR(T) pilot at the controls you will be introduced to the effects of the controls on the aircraft and, if you wish, you will probably have the opportunity to take the controls yourself. As you become more experiences you will get the opportunity to experience aerobatics, initially you will follow the pilot through on the controls, lightly placing your hands and feet on the control column and rudder pedals to get a feel for the control inputs required to perform the manoeuvre, then you may have the chance to fly the aircraft in an aerobatic manoeuvre yourself.
In addition to AEF cadets will have the opportunity to fly in other service aircraft. These flights normally occur during summer camp, but may be arranged locally by squadron commanders and can include flights as a passenger in a fast jet, on board a tanker aircraft on a refuelling sortie or as a supernumerary crew member on a transport aircraft or helicopter. It is not uncommon for cadets to get an overseas visit as part of an opportunity flight.
Air Cadet Pilot Scheme (ACPS)
Cadets who wish to pursue a career in aviation can apply for the Air Cadet Pilot Scheme (ACPS), which provides a pinnacle of flying experience for those cadets lucky enough to be selected. There are three scholarships available:
Air Cadet Light Aircraft Course – Involves twelve hours flying training up to first solo standard in a light aircraft at a civilian flying school.
Air Cadet Air Experience Flying Course – Offers ten hours flying training at an Air Experience Flight on the Grob Tutor covering all aspects of applied service flying including advanced handling and aerobatics.
Air Cadet Micro light Course – Provides ten hours flying training up to first solo standard in a micro light aircraft at an RAF micro light Club.
Eligibility and Application
In order to apply for one of the courses offered under the ACPS you must:
– Be aged 16 years at application and 17 by the start of the course.
– Hold or predicted to achieve GCSE grade C or equivalent SCE above in English Language and Mathematics BTEC in Aviation Studies can be accepted as an alternative to Mathematics).
– Have achieved Gliding Scholarship solo (silver wings), although exceptions may be allowed with written support.
– Be available to attend for a continuous residential course of up to fourteen days duration.
Air Cadet Pilot Navigation Scheme
In addition to the above cadets may also apply for the Air Cadet Pilot Navigation Scheme, which provides 8 hours air navigation training over a fourteen day period at an AEF on the Grob Tutor aircraft. There is a significant amount of ground based planning to be done prior to the airborne navigation exercises. To be eligible to apply cadets must be aged 16 or older and gave passed the Air Navigation section of the cadet training syllabus.