Note: All defence cadets are currently on an ‘operational pause’ of all face-to-face activities. The activity detailed below took place before this pause started.
In ‘the good old days’ before COVID-19, two Western Australian cadet units participated in a very memorable flying activity out of Jandakot airport in Perths southern suburbs.
CAPTION: Cadet Sergeant Jasmine King, 708 Squadron, before her flight in a Cessna A152 Aerobat. Photo supplied by PLTOFF(AAFC) Alex Hartner.
This activity offered non-instructional Cadet Air Experience (CAE) flights to junior Air Force Cadets, and instructional Pilot Experience (PEX) flights to those with some training in aviation theory.
Eight Cadets from No 707 (City of Mandurah) Squadron at Coodanup joined the activity, together with 35 from No 708 Squadron (‘Strive to Succeed’) which is based at the Military Multi-Use Depot in Rockingham.
Pilot Officer (AAFC) Alex Hartner said: “We flew 23 PEX and 12 CAE flights, and eight ferry flights between Jandakot and Murrayfield”.
The Cadets flew in Cessna A152 Aerobat aircraft and a Cessna 172R Skyhawk II, operated by the Royal Aero Club of Western Australia at Jandakot, an approved service provider.
One among them was Cadet Sergeant Jasmine King, Training Operations Officer for 708 Squadron, who had previously flown her first glider solo flight in October 2019.
CSGT King gathered the following reflections from some of the cadets who flew:
Cadet Gladwin Shekarr said, “I was very lucky to get the opportunity to go on the flying activity. I learnt a lot about how to handle the aeroplane. Overall I really enjoyed the flight by the amazing pilots at the Royal Aero Club”.
Cadet Corporal Matthew Ellem said, “I was always afraid that personally flying an aircraft would make me panic. Before the flight commenced, I trusted the pilot and was focusing on what he was doing to control the aircraft. After landing, I was disappointed to be back on the ground. And now I want to have more experience with aviation and flying. I’m grateful that I had the opportunity to fly with the AAFC”.
Cadet Billy Morgan said, “In the aircraft we did a variety of fun and interesting manoeuvres. There really was no way to get bored on that flight. Through the AAFC I have also been lucky enough to have gone on the gliding day at Narrogin. The rolling green fields and the rather cold morning will always have a place in my heart as with this flying day experience too”.