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Flying Start to the New Year

11th April 2006

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Photograph of Flying Start to the New Year

Local Air Cadets, Sergeant David Struthers from Thurso and Corporal Christopher Bremner from Wick had a flying start to the year when they attended RAF Kinloss for their Gliding Scholarships.

They arrived at Kinloss early on the 2nd January, and spent a week learning all the knowledge and skills required to successfully complete the course.

Both cadets had previously undertaken Initial Glider Training, where they had gained the basics of handling a glider, during short flights. However, this was a much more intensive course with each day including the theory of aircraft handling, principles of flight, emergency procedures and around 2 hours practical gliding experience.

Midweek they had to undertake a written examination to test their knowledge before they could complete the course. The result that David achieved in this exam was high enough that he was eligible to attempt a solo flight, if his instructors were happy with his hands-on skills.

Both cadets gained more practical gliding experience towards the end of the week, and were introduced to speaking to Air Traffic Control and dealing with engine failures. The crucial day arrived, and the morning was used to carry out final practice. David then carried out a solo check flight (accompanied by an observing instructor) and after a smooth flight, with all emergencies dealt with appropriately, he was told "you are ready to go solo" and the instructor left the aircraft.

David said "Going through the pre-flight checklists I started feeling a little bit nervous. As I started the engine and began taxiing towards the runway I was feeling even more anxious but as soon as the wheels of the aircraft left the ground I felt quite at ease. Time passed extremely quickly and before I knew it I was getting ready for the landing. As the wheels touched the ground, and the aircraft slowed to a halt, I couldnt believe that I had flown a glider completely on my own."

Squadron Leader Duncan Sutherland presented Christopher with Blue Wings for completing his Gliding Scholarship successfully. He also presented David with Silver Wings for completing his Gliding Scholarship and accomplishing a solo flight.


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