After the recent successes of Sgt Dutch and Cpl Thompson on going solo after pilot training, it has been the turn of CWO Ajvir Sandhu to gain his wings through the ATC. He is report is below:
“On the 31st August I travelled up to sunny Dundee with 5 other cadets from around the corps to complete my Air Cadet Pilot Scheme, formerly and more commonly known as a Flying Scholarship. The scheme is offered to cadets aged 16 and over (you must be 17 to fly solo) and encompasses 12 hours flying in a light, single engined aircraft, during which the aim is to get you flying solo. The course offers no formal qualifications as such, but it is a good introduction to flying for those that want to try something new or pursue a career in military or civil aviation. The course was all expenses paid and cost me absolutely nothing.
All those that attend the course stay in the Airlie House Hotel, which is around a 10 minute drive to Tayside Aviation at Dundee Airport, the company that the Royal Air Force and the ATC contract the flying scholarships to. Having completed a gliding scholarship around a year ago I wasn’t a complete novice with flying but a bit rusty to start off with. Throughout the week, with my instructor, we covered stalling, circuit flying and what to do in the case of engine problems or failures. Unforuntately we couldn’t fly every day because of the characteristically unpredictable Scottish weather! This gave me time to revise for my exam, which we all had to pass before we went solo but that wasn’t all. On one particularly bad day myself and the others from my course went to the local swimming pool complete with 2 high diving boards and a variety of slides which was probably a lot more fun than it sounds!
On Tuesday of the second week I went solo after a cumulative total of 8 hours of flying across the preceding days. I was happy with the time but annoyed that it wasn’t less, as it should have been! After being declared solo ready earlier in the day I was grounded after a strong headwind which meant that I had to do another half hour of circuits with my instructor before I was ready again. This left around 3.5 hours for me to do some more advanced flying over the next few days. My remaining hours went towards 45 mins of solo circuits where I did touch-and-go’s, when I landed on the runway, raised the flaps reapplied full power and took for another circuit and some practice forced landings with my instructor which was very interesting as it involved coming down very low! Overall I had a great time and would certainly recommend this to anyone and everyone. Flying is what the ATC is all about and the ACPS is the pinnacle of ATC flying, you’d be mad not to apply for this course!”
The photo shows Aj at the controls of his aircraft