Three cadets from the Sqn have returned from Gliding Scholarship courses at Weathersfield and Kenley airfields, flying the Vking glider. Sgt Jess Murphy, Cdts Araan Mondahass and Sophia Plent, with all three gaining their wings on the courses, with Cdt Mondahass going solo. His report is below:
“On Friday the 23rd of July I travelled to Kenley renowned for its use during World War 2 as a fighter base in the battle of Britain. Arriving there I made friends instantly with all other 12 cadets. The first couple days of gliding were mostly teaching us the basic control and effects of the glider which were made even better because of the perfect weather we had. Every time we were launched up we would get a flight lasting 30 minutes due to thermals, these were roughly the same time we would achieve in a tutor but we had no engine. While we were not being catapulted into the air we would help launch the other gliders.
During the middle of the week we were subjected to reasonable weather condition as we started the more important aspect of gliding such as and landings, circuits and Emergency procedure which often required us to go through periods of negative G force and experience the adrenaline of trying to land the glider on one of the shortest airfield in the country after a cable break. Which was sometime heart stopping. During one day we got the rare opportunity to retrieve one of the squadron gliders from the Farnborough air show. This required us to dismantle it and put it back together which was fun experience that gave an insight in to parts of the glider they we don’t get to see normally.
After continually practicing ghost rides on Wednesday and Thursday. I was then told by my instructor I was ready for my check ride with the squadron head instructor to ensure I could fly the glider properly and safely by myself. After nervously completing my check ride the head pilot got out the glider and said “Ok Araan, you’re ready for your solo.” This brought complete joy to me as it would mean I was certainly getting my silver wings. The whole flight was uneventful and was like any ordinary flight expect the occasional outburst of the Top Gun anthem and couple of clichés from the movie, but this was overshadowed by the amazing landscape covered in a setting blood red sun. I would advise anyone to go on the course, it is one of the best that the ATC offers!”