Flying & Gliding


The ATC has it’s own fleet of aircraft, in which cadets are given the opportunity to fly with Royal Airforce pilots. The flying takes place at one of 12 Air Experience Flights (AEF) that spread accross the British Isles. The AEF use the Grob Tutor aircraft to provide the flying experience for the cadets. Cadets are shown how the aircraft is flown and are given the chance to control the aircraft, experience aerobatics or just to enjoy the view. The AEF’s are tasked to provide the opportunity for each cadet to have 25 minutes flying per year.

Cadets often get the chance to participate in flights of opportunity with the RAF. These flights can take place in any nearly RAF – some lucky cadets manage to gain flights in ‘fast jets’ such as the Tornado. It is not unusal for cadets on camp to be given the chance to fly in a wide varity of aircraft and helicopters, sometimes even abroad.

Beyond this cadets can also apply for further training flying training. If they are successful it is possible for them to gain their Private Pilots License

GIC (Gliding Induction Course)

Your gliding experience kicks off at a Volunteer Gliding Squadron (VGS) flying either Vigilant motor gliders or Viking winch-launch gliders. Your focus, along with others from your ATC squadron or CCF (RAF) unit, will be to complete the Gliding Induction Course (GIC).

Designed to give you a taste for Air Cadet Gliding, the GIC consists of three levels of instruction. On your first visit you’ll be taught the GIC 1. Later visits will cover GIC 2 and 3. In these levels you’ll learn all about aerodynamics and controlling the aircraft, first in a classroom, then taking control and practicing what you’ve learned in the air. After you’ve completed the course, you’ll be awarded a GIC certificate.

Course Content

Aircraft Course level / flight time

Vigilant GIC 1 – 20 minutes GIC 2 – 25 minutes GIC 3 – 30 minutes Viking GIC 1 – 3 launches GIC 2 – 4 launches GIC 3 – 5 launches

Amongst other things, you’ll be shown, and have the chance to practice:

  • How the pitch is changed
  • How the rudder affects the yaw plane
  • How to change the rolling plane
  • What happens when the glider stalls

Don’t know what some of those terms mean? They all affect the movement of the aircraft. You’ll experience them first-hand with the guidance of your instructors who will explain all. Pretty soon you’ll know it all like the back of your hand.

Provided you have no medical conditions that could prevent you from flying safely, all you need is a high level of motivation. Prove yourself here and you can move on to a Gliding Scholarship (GS) course to continue your flight training.

What an experience! As a cadet you’ll have the chance to fly with the best – RAF pilots.

Air Experience Flight (AEF) instructors are all current or former RAF service pilots who volunteer to pass on their knowledge and enthusiasm for flying to you. Flying takes place at one of 12 AEFs around the country, mainly at RAF stations. You’re shown how the aircraft flies and given the chance to control it and experience aerobatics. And the views from 3,000ft are stunning.

Up in the air

Every air cadet gets the opportunity to have a flight each year. You’ll join a long list of cadets going back over 50 years – including royalty – who have benefitted from this fantastic experience. The first AEFs were formed in 1958 and flew the classic DeHavilland Chipmunk which served faithfully for almost 40 years until it was replaced by the Scottish Aviation Bulldog.

Recently, it’s the Grob Tutor that has become the aircraft of choice. It has great visibility from its large canopy and is agile enough to allow it to perform full aerobatics. You’ll soon feel right at home in the Tutor and hungry for more flight time.

Come fly with us!

If you want to learn more, please let us know or come down on a parade night.

Air Cadets Air Experience Flight

If you want to learn more, please let us know or come down on a parade night.