Junior News

Flying High: WOW Assembly with Air Cadet Mia

17th April 2024

On Wednesday 17th April, the Junior Section were thrilled to welcome Year 9 student Mia B from Wakefield Girls’ Senior Section, to deliver a thrilling assembly on her experience in the Air Cadets, and all of her flying experience so far. Here is Mia to share what she discussed: 

I have always found planes interesting but I never really thought about pursuing a job as a pilot. It was when I first watched the red arrows at the late Queen’s Jubilee which I think really inspired me to look into flying. I began researching the Royal Air Force and discovered you can join the RAF aged 16. Then I came across the air cadets which is the training for the RAF for ages 13-20 so I later joined in November 2022. In air cadets you learn about the engines in aircraft including NASA’s rockets, the differences between the types of wing on an aircraft and much more.

I first had the opportunity to go gliding in a Viking T1 in August 2023. Before we went up into the air I had to go through training on how to land and abandon the glider if an emergency was to occur. I went up in the air alongside an  RAF officer for a total of 20 minutes. Excitingly, the officer asked me to take control of the aircraft which gave me an idea of what flying would be like. I also had the chance to work on the runway where I gave verbal and hand signals to the air traffic control with little assistance. This was truly an amazing experience as I felt one step closer to my dream job. 

The next day I had a private flying lesson in an Ikarus c42 which is a light weight aircraft. We flew for 1 hour, most of which I was in control of the plane. At the end of the lesson we lined up with the runway and I was offered to land the c42 myself! I was over the moon as I had just completed my very first landing, by myself aged 13. 

My second time flying was with the air cadets in December 2023. I went with two other cadets from my squadron and 3 from a squadron in Sheffield. We went through an hour’s training on how to land and abandon an aircraft in an emergency situation, including parachute training. The RAF officers had to have a briefing on the weather to see if it was safe for us to fly. A few hours later we were given a yes to flying. Each of us were geared up with a parachute and a helmet which had headphones and a microphone. Before it was time for me to go up we saw pilots from Sweden fly F-18s and Euro fighter typhoons in different formations as a part of their training. This was an amazing experience as they are my favourite planes and I never thought I’d see them flying up close. As it was my time to take off, 3 Hawk T2s were in front of us. As they took off me and the other pilot followed them up. The pilot ended up flying us only a few metres away from them. This was one of the most exciting things I’ve ever experienced as I was flying with the Red Arrows. The pilot I was flying with did some barrel rolls, dives and many more aerobatic manoeuvres. He then let me fly the g-15 and to my surprise he told me to carry out those aerobatic moves he had just done. He then talked me through how to do a touch-and-go landing. This is where I had to land on a runway and take off again almost straight after. I had been flying at 3,000 feet and pulled around 4.5 – 5 g-forces. 

I’m now trying to work for my flying and gliding badge where I have to do a ground exam in a model of the aircraft. Although I don’t fly very often I still enjoy learning the theory behind flying and different aircraft. I hope to fly many more different planes and carry on with lessons. 

In the future I hope to come out of the air cadets and go into the RAF. There are many options in the RAF that I would like to do. Firstly, I want to be a fighter pilot or secondly, an avionic technician. However, there are many more career paths in the RAF that I would also like to pursue such as air control, engineer and navigator.

Mia B, Year 9 student

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