Gliding Scholarship Course
You've done your Aviation Training Packages (ATP), so what's next? Getting your Gliding Scholarship Wings.
This course gets you deeper into flying and gives you more flight time. To be nominated for a Gliding Scholarship (GS) just let your squadron or unit staff know you want in. It's open to anyone over 16 and you're not required to have completed a GIC 1, 2 or 3, or ATP but it's great if you have. Once you pass the standard medical check, it's just a matter of waiting for a place on the course to become available.
Aircraft Flight time Vigilant 8 Hours (extra 20% allowed for further training to solo standard)
Courses can be taken either over successive weekends until completed, or as a continuous week-long course (usually in the summer). Course time can vary due to your progress and the weather, so motivation and commitment are key. Typically, in summer, a course will take 3 weekends to complete. If you're successful, you can look forward to wearing your blue GS wings on your uniform with pride.
A Gliding Scholarship course is an opportunity for cadets to undergo further gliding training and achieve Gliding Scholarship Wings. The course consists of around 8 hours of flying in the aircraft. Cadets showing the necessary aptitude are invited to progress onto the 'solo' standard and achieve the GS Solo Wings.
To undertake a GS course you should have ideally completed the GIC syllabus, although this is not essential. Nominations for GS courses should be made through your squadron/contingent commanding officer and trainees must be at least 16 years of age before commencing a course and have completed a basic medical examination detailed on RAF Form 6424 with your local doctor.
Once a medical examination is completed and cleared by your doctor your name will be forwarded to the Wing Gliding Liaison Officer and when a course becomes available for you, you will be informed via your squadron.
There are two formats of GS courses, either successive weekends whereby you attend the VGS each Saturday and Sunday until a course is completed (this normally takes 4-6 weekends) or alternatively there are sometimes Continuous courses available which last for a week for example (Monday to Friday) each day, although these courses are not as common.
Obviously the time taken to complete a GS course will depend on a number of factors. The trainees ability, attendance, motivation and of course the weather.
Once a course has been successfully completed a trainee will be awarded either Blue wings for successful completion of the course and a mark of 20-25 in the end of course multiple choice examination or Silver wings if the cadet achieves a Solo flight and 25-30 in the examination
Familiarisation and Aviation Training Packages
Your gliding experience kicks off at a Volunteer Gliding Squadron (VGS) flying either Vigilant motor gliders or Viking winch-launch gliders. Your focus, along with others from your ATC squadron or CCF (RAF) unit, will be to complete the Progressive Aviation Training Package (ATP) At your local VGS or Aerospace Centre.
Designed to give you a taste for Air Cadet Gliding, the ATP consists of three levels of instruction. On your first visit you'll be given an aviation Familiarisation Course (FAM) . Later visits will cover Blue Aviation Training Package (Blue ATP) followed by a Bronzed Aviation Training Package (Bronze ATP).
In these levels you'll learn all about aerodynamics and controlling the aircraft, first in a classroom, then taking control and practicing what you've learned in the air. After you've completed the course, you'll be awarded a Badge and certificate and you will be well on your way to learning to Fly with the ACO.
Amongst other things, you'll be shown, and have the chance to practice:
How the pitch is controlled using the Elevators
How the rudder affects the yawing plane
How to Roll the aircraft using the Ailerons
What happens when the glider stalls
Don't know what some of those terms mean? They all affect the movement of the aircraft. You'll experience them first-hand with the guidance of your instructors who will explain all. Pretty soon you'll know it all like the back of your hand.
Provided you have no medical conditions that could prevent you from flying safely, all you need is a high level of motivation. Prove yourself here and you can move on to a Gliding Scholarship (GS) course to continue your flight training.
Part Task Trainers (PTT)
645 VGS currently have 3 Part Task Trainers (PTT). They are a fully Functioning Vigilant Cockpit with exactly the same layout and functionality of the real aircraft.
They are designed to provide synthetic training to both cadets and the VGS pilots alike. They can be used by our instructors to practice their procedures and emergency drills. The squadron is currently running Familiarisation courses to cadets where they are provided with ground School training and one to one training with an instructor in a PTT. This also forms part of the new synthetic training and progressive training that the ACO provide.
Going solo and beyond
Show the necessary aptitude and you could be invited to progress to solo standard and even achieve your silver GS wings for flying solo!
It doesn't end there. If you're one of the best you could be invited, or apply, to become a Flight Staff Cadet. Training to a much higher level, your gold GS wings for Advanced Glider Training (AGT) await. If you make it that far, it won't have been easy. You'll have a real talent for flying.
Gold Wings Glider Training (GWGT)
The GWGT course is only available to cadets who have completed the Gliding Scholarship course to (Silver Wings) standard and have been recommended to undertake further training. Priority for these courses is usually given to those cadets who show interest in returning to the VGS as a Flight Staff Cadet.
The course allows trainees the necessary training to complete 5 more solo circuits and will also cover cross wind landings, advanced turning and advanced navigation. Again there is a small end of course multiple choice examination to be sat before the Gold Wings are awarded.