The sea Cadets were the guests of the Portsmouth Naval Gliding Club and this was the first time it had used its own pilots to give the cadets air experience flights.

Senior Pilot Carl Mason had recently completed his TMG at Shenington with CFI Phil Marks flying a Falke 25C, while Lt (SCC) John Reeve RNR revalidated his flying on the Diamond HK36 Super Dimona with Oxfordshire Sports Flying based at Enstone. Both pilots then had training on the Grob 109B belonging to the gliding club at Lee-On-Solent prior to the course, which ran in mid July.

Eleven cadets attended from all over the country and were selected for the course from the bronze wings ground school held at the Sea Cadet Training Centre in Weymouth and with 727 Training Squadron at RNAS Yeovilton in February.

Officer in charge was Headquarters Staff Officer Captain Marc Pether RMR who ran both the operations side of the flying, assisted by cadet instructor Petty Officer Cadet Sophie Levy who had gained her wings on the course last year, and the ground school run by 2nd Lt Myan Goddard RMR, who is also working towards his PPL. Subjects this time included advanced navigation, radiotelephony, air law and flight simulator training using software and equipment supplied by Flightstore.

The week began with low cloud and rain on the first day which kept the cadets in the classroom but this soon cleared up on day two and in superb conditions all eleven cadets were able to have at least one 30-minute flight. These were around the local area and covered Portsmouth to Thorney Island or across to the Isle of Wight. Two more days of good weather allowed more flights for the cadets who were able to put theory into practice and complete their navigational exercises despite busy airspace due to Notams affecting Portsmouth harbour during the build up to the start of the Americas Cup World Series yachting event.

The final day saw the wings parade with five gold and six silver wings being awarded to the course with each cadet receiving a flight bag donated by Pooley’s Flight Equipment, as well as magazines and other ‘goodies’ donated by the British Gliding Association. The award of top student this year went to Leading Cadet Michael Cooper from Peterborough, with Corporal Daniel Welch of Horsham not far behind. Both cadets were pleased to hear they have been invited back to join the SCAV team as cadet instructors for next year’s ground school.

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