Sunday 6th November saw the long awaited return of cadets through the doors of 645 Volunteer Gliding Squadron at RAF Topcliffe.
Today marked the first steps in cadets Gliding once again in the Air Cadets, following the pause in April 2014. Cadets from 1114 (Gosforth) squadron and 861 (Wideopen) squadron were the first cadets in the country to officially start their progressive Gliding Training at a VGS.
The cadets commenced their day with a welcome brief and a tour of the newly refurbished facilities at 645VGS. They then moved onto the ground school training, learning about principles of flight and Airmanship.
The cadets were then taken to the PTT (Part Task Trainer) suite where there is 3 fully functioning Grob vigilant cockpits. Here 645 VGS carryout synthetic flying training putting the classroom theory into practice with VGS instructors.
The day finished with a look around the newly refurbished Grob Vigilant Motor Gliders which had just returned from flying. Although 645 VGS are not yet ready to start flying with cadets it was great to be able to start cadets on their journey towards the return to Air Cadet Gliding. The day enabled cadets to take part in the first ever VGS Familiarisation course, Blue wings ground school and PTT (Part Task Trainer) synthetic flying training.
These cadets will be invited back in the new year to complete their blue wings training by getting airborne in the Grob Vigilant. Flt Lt Aaron O'Roarty, Media Communications officer said "This was a fantastic day and not only enjoyed by the cadets who took part but the entire staff team at 645 VGS. We are very proud to welcome cadets through our doors for the first time in nearly 3 years. This marks the start of formal training again at Topcliffe and is yet another milestone completed along our journey to returning to normal operations at Topcliffe"
Cdt Hunter from 861 Sqn said "I loved this and I can't wait to apply for my Gliding Scholarship".
Plt Off Soulsby, OC 861 Sqn said " This was a massive step forward for the ATC and shows that progress is definitely being made to get gliding back on the Air Cadet list of activities. The facility at Topcliffe is fantastic and it was great to see real gliders again. I would like to thank Flt Lt O'Roarty, OC 1114 Sqn and a VGS gliding instructor and all the staff at Topcliffe for their warm welcome and enthusiasm and I look forward to seeing them pass on their expertise to many more cadets in the future"
645 VGS are hoping to run more days like this in the coming weeks so keep your eyes open for future dates and you to could start the journey towards Gliding in the Air Cadets.