Lancing College’s Combined Cadet Force (CCF) training programme has been a long-standing tradition for pupils and staff alike, with students taking part in a range of team building, leadership and orienteering activities throughout their time at the College.
On Friday 19 January, 11 CCF cadets visited a Ministry of Defence test site in Boscombe Down to experience RAF life. The day was led by military pilots, who used their expertise to teach formal training procedures.
Upper Sixth Former Max H gives his account of this fantastic experience. “Our plane of choice for the day was the Grob Tutor - a small single piston engine plane that has aerobatic capabilities. Before setting off, we were kitted out with parachutes and helmets. Soon after, we were given the exhilarating opportunity to fly the plane. Once in the air, the pilot asked us: ‘Would you like to attempt some aerobatics?’ Enthused, we all agreed, and the pilot began to increase the speed, before suddenly heading nose down, when the airspeed needle came to life. He pulled the stick back and we started to climb again, this time inverted, as we completed the loop. During this stunt, we did several barrel rolls, and a stall turn. After some exciting but slightly queasy flying, we flew back to the airfield.”
In addition to learning the basics of airmanship, Max notes that: “We were shown how to jump out of a plane in case of an emergency. Fortunately, we didn’t have to put our training into practice for this particular lesson but it is useful to know.”
Commenting on the day, accompanying staff member Alistair Coakes said: “Our CCF cadets thoroughly enjoyed their AEF (air experience flight) day and despite being in the middle of a somewhat inclement period, we managed to get airborne on a beautiful blue sky day above Stonehenge. Every cadet came back to earth with an enormous smile on their face and so it was a hugely rewarding experience all round. For some it was their third flight and perhaps the start of something bigger in their future.”
We look forward to hearing more about upcoming CCF adventures across the Lent and Summer Terms. To discover more, visit our CCF page.