Arriving early morning, the cadets’ excitement grew as they were fitted with their flying suits, parachutes and helmets. Cadet Poppy Collis said “I was very excited once I had been given my suit and helmet”. She added, “Once I was in the aircraft, I was really wanting to get up in the air”.
As they taxied to the runway, each pilot went through the instruments with their cadet and after clearance from Air Traffic Control, took off at a speed of 60 knots climbing to a height of 5000 feet where they were shown how to pitch and role the aircraft and experience the effects of ‘g’. Cadet Guyon Trussell said “My pilot put his glove on top of the instruments and as we reached 0 g the glove appeared to float, it was awesome and we too were weightless”. “Then he showed me +3 g and told me to put my arms out in front and we quickly ascended and my arms became very heavy”. “It was an unexplainable sensation, but I loved it”.
The cadets were given the opportunity to take control of the aircraft and practice what they had been taught, before experiencing the thrill of aerobatics, “He let me take control and do a couple of turns and I even got to do my own loop the loop, I felt as if I was a pilot” said Cadet Trussell.
The cadets also shared their first time experience with four cadets from 1010 (Salisbury) Squadron Royal Air Force Air Cadets who were also flying for the first time.
Photo 1: Cadets from Malmesbury and Salisbury Squadrons standing next to the Grob Tutor Aircraft. Photograph by kind permission of QinetiQ, RAF Boscombe Down. From right to left 4th, 5th, 6th and 8th.