Some South Australian Air Force Cadets started the year by participating in a pilot-experience (PEX) flight from Balaklava airfield (YBVA) – and said “tanks” for the opportunity.
CAPTION: After returning to RAAF Base Edinburgh after a full day of pilot-experience (PEX) flights, (from left) CDT Nandini Agnihotri, CDT Iknoor Khurana, CDT Hayden Peel, CDT Fynn White, CDT George Rarichan, CDT Mark Gul, LCDT Ben Bryant and LCDT Mithusha Lansakara say ‘tanks’ to their flying instructors.
The Cadets flew in the DG1000S two-seater sailplane glider, operated by No 906 Aviation Training Squadron based at RAAF Edinburgh, a unit of Aviation Operations Wing, AAFC.
All Air Force Cadets are invited to have at least one pilot-experience (PEX) flight each year in a AAFC-owned glider (under the supervision of a qualified flying instructor) to lay the foundations for aviation-career pathways.
These PEX flights are offered on a regular basis throughout the year, at no cost.
Former Cadet Warrant Officer and solo glider pilot Ian van Schalkwyk has left the Air Force Cadets now, having turned 18 last year.
He gave this advice to the new generation of cadets: “Cadets is very much what you make it, so if you want to fly, then nominate for flying activities. You are getting a unique opportunity to do amazing things so early in life that it can become difficult to remember that you’re there for fun!”.
Similarly, former Cadet Under Officer and solo glider pilot Ben Dunk offered this advice: “The Australian Air Force Cadets has such a wealth of experience and knowledge that Cadets have the ability to tailor it into an experience that suits them best. I have chosen to focus mainly on aviation and leadership, but I could name countless other opportunities”.
No 906 Aviation Training Squadron conducts glider instruction and training activities for 6 Wing (SA and Mildura).
The squadron is one of three ‘centres of excellence’ around the country, which allows AAFC cadets to go gliding, with the intention of seeing them fly solo soon after turning 15.
The squadron’s gliding activities based out of Balaklava airfield are a significant part of the national aviation effort.
Glider pilot Ben Dunk added this additional recommendation: “The AAFC can cater for nearly whatever you are looking for, but most importantly, the AAFC will transform you into a mature young adult who is ready to enter the adult world with a range of incredible experiences and abilities”.
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