CCF flying day - Hurstpierpoint College

CCF flying day

On the 6th March, we had an incredible opportunity to fly in a Grob Tutor for the first time at MoD Boscombe Down, Wiltshire. The experience was one we will never forget and has even inspired career aspirations. For a while I had been toying with the idea of becoming a pilot, and after being given this unforgettable chance, I confirmed that flying may be a career I want to pursue in the future.

After arriving on the base, we went to the 2AEF (No.2 Air Experience Flight) Crew Room to receive our pre-flight safety brief, followed by a parachute drill exercise. One by one, we were called down to be kitted out with our flight suits, parachutes, helmets and the classic aviator sunglasses!

As soon as an aircraft became available, my pilot escorted me out to the aircraft and ran through the pre-taxi checks, explaining what they were doing at each step. After the pre-flight engine and safety checks, it was time for take-off! Before my pilot gave me control of the aircraft, we had a brief recap of the basic airmanship principles we had previously learnt in CCF sessions – it was amazing being able to put them into practice up in the air.

Some of us also had the chance to try some aerobatics, including loops, barrel rolls and stall turns. During each manoeuvre, we knew it was important to concentrate on tensing our stomach and neck muscles to overcome the G-force while remembering to control the aircraft!

Flying in a light aircraft is such an incredible feeling that is hard to describe, but it encompasses a mixture of excitement, thrill and even peace – being amongst the clouds and looking around at the extraordinary views. Even after just 30 minutes in the air it was enough for me to say this was one of the best experiences of my life so far!

Cadets Ciara K and Katie B, Lower Sixth students