Joining the Air Cadets opens up lots of opportunities, including the chance to fly! It’s our aim to get you airborne as often as possible, as a passenger in a light aircraft, a glider or even on-board RAF aircraft such as our Typhoon fast-jet or a Chinook helicopter.
There are plenty of opportunities for cadets to get in the air. Air Experience Flights could even see you take to the skies in a Grob Tutor light aircraft.
Gliding Induction Course
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 Gliding Induction Course (GIC).
Designed to give you a taste for Air Cadet Gliding, the GIC consists of three levels of instruction. On your first visit you’ll be taught the GIC 1. Later visits will cover GIC 2 and 3. 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 GIC certificate.
Gliding Scholarship Course
You’ve done your Gliding Induction Course (GIC), 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, 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.
The Air Cadet Pilot Scheme
Genuinely interested in a high-flying career? Why not aim for one of nearly 140 light aircraft courses available to air cadets each year at Tayside Aviation in Dundee?
A further 27 places are available at the Air Experience Flights (AEF) embedded with the RAF’s University Air Squadrons across the UK. Take a look at our map to find your nearest AEF.
To apply you’ll first have to complete your non-solo flying course and win your blue wings or, preferably, have achieved a gliding solo and won your silver wings.
Air Cadet Pilot Navigation Scheme
Want to wear the coveted pilot navigation badge? You could be one of up to 30 cadets that win a place each year on the Air Cadet Pilot Navigation Scheme – run at Air Experience Flights. The entry criteria for applicants is the same as the Pilot Scheme. It’s a great chance to really expand your knowledge of aviation navigation.
Prove that you have the aptitude for flying and you could bag yourself a prestigious flying scholarship.
There are several scholarships available to air cadets each year. These are sponsored by the Royal Aero Club, the Air League Educational Trust, the RAF Charitable Trust, the Geoffrey DeHaviland Foundation, Babcock Defence Services, the RAF Association and the Guild of Air Pilots and Air Navigators.
For many cadets these courses are the stepping stone to their PPL – Private Pilots’ Licence – and potentially a career as a pilot with the RAF, the Royal Navy, Army or commercial airlines.
Some cadets achieve their PPLs before they even get their driving licence, so the sky really is the limit!
Air Experience Flights
And what an experience! As a cadet you’ll have the chance to fly with the best – RAF pilots.
Air Experience Flight (AEF) instructors are all current or former RAF service pilots who volunteer to pass on their knowledge and enthusiasm for flying to you. Flying takes place at one of 12 AEFs around the country, mainly at RAF stations. You’re shown how the aircraft flies and given the chance to control it and experience aerobatics. And the views from 3,000ft are stunning.