Up in the Air

On Wednesday 15 June four Lancing pupils went to MoD Boscombe Down in Wiltshire for an Air Experience Flight.

A key selling point of the RAF branch of CCF is that you can go flying with the Air Force several times per year. Unfortunately, this has not been possible since the start of 2020 because of COVID. As a result this flight was the first opportunity in over two years for cadets to go flying, so there was a great deal of anticipation and excitement.

After arriving at the airfield and passing through rigorous security checks, we were sent to a briefing room where we were instructed what to do in case of an emergency in the plane. Then it was time for the flying, with two pupils going airborne at a time in the Grob Tutor training aircraft. This plane is used by all trainee pilots in the RAF before they move on to more advanced aircraft types. We had the privilege of flying with former fighter jet pilots and it was fascinating to find out just how extreme flying a jet could be.

Each pupil spent about 45 minutes in the air, doing aerobatics such as loops and rolls, and we were able to do some sightseeing as well, given Stonehenge was located extremely close to the base. The pilots even gave us control of the aircraft for much of the flight – maximum focus was always required.

It was an amazing experience, and we are incredibly grateful and appreciative for the time and effort of the RAF. Hopefully many more Lancing cadets will be able to experience this as well in the future.

Alex B, Lower Sixth.