During the April school holidays this year, the AAFC’s Elementary Flying Training School ran the first flying training course using the new Diamond DA40 NG aircraft.
CAPTION: Cadet Corporal Max Ramm is congratulated by Course Coordinator and Staff Officer Operations with AOW Squadron Leader (AAFC) Scott Wiggins following his first solo powered flight. Image supplied by SQNLDR (AAFC) Scott Wiggins.
Ten Air Force Cadets, drawn from 4 Wing (Victoria), 5 Wing (Tasmania), 6 Wing (SA and Mildura) and 7 Wing (WA), were the first to fly these Diamonds.
The first to go solo, on 16 April, was Cadet Sergeant Mark Hargreaves from No 402 Squadron at Watsonia, Victoria.
More went solo on 18 April, including Cadet Corporal Max Ramm from No 609 Squadron (Warradale Barracks, SA).
CCPL Ramm recently spoke to the Public Affairs & Communication Officer for Aviation Operations Wing, Flying Officer (AAFC) Paul Rosenzweig, about his impressions of the powered flying training course.
CCPL Ramm reflected on his first experience of flying: “My very first time in the cockpit of an aircraft was on a weekend Scout camp where we all had half an hour of flying time in a Tobago TB-10. I was a nervous little thirteen-year-old at the time, and I remember feeling almost scared of the aircraft. Not exactly what you expect to hear from someone who is now hoping to find a career as a pilot, but my first time flying was not the best”.
Of his experience of flying the Diamond, CCPL Ramm said: “My first flight in the DA40 NG was different to any other experience I have had in the air. The noise of the engine was distinctly different and far smoother than anything else I had heard. The different systems I had learned about were all far more advanced than most aircraft out there”.
“When the instructor first handed over the controls to me, it was exciting and unique. I think I’ll remember that feeling for the rest of my life”.
He said of his experience of flying solo: “Flying solo for the first time in the DA40 NG was probably the best experience of my life”.
“During my check flight, to see if I was ready to fly by myself, I was certain I had failed. It felt like I was making mistake after mistake and I almost asked my instructor to just land the plane there and then. But, after some encouraging words from my instructor, I went on to pass. The feeling of being so close to failure made the flight even more exciting. All of the errors I was making not five minutes before had all disappeared and it felt amazing”.
CCPL Ramm summed up his feelings after that first solo flight: “After the weeks of hard work that went into getting to that moment, it was all worth it”.
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