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16 Sep 2021
Congratulations to Cadet Corporal A Parsons, who has completed the Air Cadet Pilot Scheme
Cadet Parsons had to travel to Dundee to attend the week-long course, run through a private pilot training company
My course was very lucky in regards to weather seeing as we only had one day of flying cancelled due to poor weather. We flew in the Aquila A211, a similar aircraft to the tutor, however not suitable for aerobatics (to some cadets' disappointment): they are very nice light aircraft and lovely to fly. Throughout the course we generally aimed to fly for 2 hours a day.
The first sortie was similar to an AEF, just giving us a feel for the aircraft and how it moves and handles. The second sortie was similar, focused on turning the aircraft whilst maintaining either altitude or airspeed. The third sortie was on climbing and descending focusing on keeping a lookout to our surroundings. The forth sortie was similarly focused, bring all these skills together and also introduced climbing and descending turns. The fifth sortie was the first of 3 stalling sorties, aiming to get us familiar with the signs of a stall and how to recover from it. The next sortie added different configurations and situations like stalling on final approach or the turn onto final, bringing flaps and ailerons into the equation. The last of the stalling sorties was essentially a test of our ability in regards to stall recovery to ensure we could move onto circuit flying. This began with a demonstration of the circuit, taking off, climbing, turning onto crosswind and levelling out at 1000ft. Then turning onto downwind before the base leg, where we begin landing preparations, then turning onto final, finishing these preparations and landing for a touch and go. This repeats as many times as possible in the hour. Emergency procedures were tested during these rather intense sorties. By the 11th sortie we were preparing for our solos, which obviously built the pressure, just making sure we can do it entirely on our own. We then have a 40 minute sortie, which is a final test to ensure we can do it before the solo which was a great experience after all the hard work that was put into it. In addition to the practical tests we did there was also a theory exam which was rather simple, just testing our knowledge of the aircraft, airport and procedures.
With Leuchars airbase just south of Dundee I had some pretty interesting aircraft recce opportunities, with Hercules and Apaches flying around across from us when I was flying the circuit which was exciting. We also had a visit from Air commodore Tony Keeling on the Monday, which was a good experience and he spoke to us all about the course.
It was a very good course and a truly amazing experience