Minister for Reserves, Julian Brazier, has visited RAF Kirknewton to see how RAF Air Cadets and volunteers gain flight experience training.
After being shown around the facilities of 661 Volunteer Gliding Squadron (VGS), the Minister chatted to Cadets and volunteers as they demonstrated radio controlled flying. He also took the opportunity to see how he performed on their newly installed flight simulator – known as a PTT (part task trainer) and funded by the RAF Charitable Trust – that will help teach Cadets the basics of flying before they get to try out the real thing.
The Minister’s visit follows the re-launch of Air Cadet gliding, which will focus the units on regional hubs and provide Cadets with more opportunities to experience fixed-wing flying as well as rebuilding gliding programme, and allowing Cadets to obtain the coveted ACO Glider Wings. He also praised the work of the committed volunteer staff at Kirknewton who help to keep the RAF’s Air Cadets flying.
Mr Brazier said:
I am very impressed by the enthusiasm and skill of the cadets here in Scotland, as well as the commitment and dedication of the volunteer staff who offer this high quality flying training, and provide inspiration and leadership to generations of air cadets.
Squadron Leader Eddie Carr, Officer Commanding 661 VGS at Kirknewton said of the new simulator:
Without funding from the RAF Charitable Trust this wouldn’t have been possible. Everyone involved in Air Cadet gliding is very grateful to the Charitable Trust for its generosity.
The Minister also saw the work undertaken to improve the airfield, the cadet and staff accommodation blocks and the administrative area. As part of a wider strategy on Air Cadet basing, the Kirknewton site will expand into the regional hub for Scotland, and become a Glider Centre of Excellence to support Air Cadets from across Scotland.