Cadets show off aircraft and gear at Avalon

Australian Air Force Cadets (AAFC) showcased their aircraft, the Diamond DA40 NG at the Australian International Airshow 2023 as part of a larger cadets static display.

CAPTION: AAFC Cadet Sergeant Finn Carpenter with a Diamond DA40 NG Star aircraft at the Australian International Airshow 2023. Story by Flying Officer Sharon Sebastian and Flight Lieutenant Brett Moloney. Photo by Leading Aircraftman Chris Tsakisiris.

In his third year with AAFC, Cadet Sergeant Finn Carpenter recently completed Elementary Flying Training School (EFTS) and is hoping to follow in his dad’s footsteps in joining the Royal Australian Air Force.

“I’ve recorded 12.8 hours flying the Diamond DA40 NG aircraft and I am getting really close to going solo,” Cadet Sergeant Carpenter said.

“My dad flew C-130s for the Royal Australian Air Force and the stories he told really inspired me to push for a career in Defence.

“I’d be happy to fly just about any aircraft that the Royal Australian Air Force operates, but I’d love to fly the C-130J Hercules or the F-35A Lightning II.”

Many Australian Defence Force and commercial aviators began their flying careers by learning to fly with the AAFC.

Flying training camps offered by the AAFC aim to give cadets exposure to, and inspire their interest in, the aerospace industry through education in theoretical and practical skills of aircraft handling, aircraft engineering and flight operations.

And, as Cadet Sergeant Jenethri Koralagama can attest, AAFC also provides great opportunities for young people to lead, grow and build self-confidence.

“We do a lot of leadership and personal development where we go through and identify different styles of leadership, different ways to lead a group and even different ways to manage conflict,” Cadet Sergeant Koralagama said.

“One of the main reasons I enjoy cadets is the way that it trains you for real life.”

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CAPTION: Cadet Sergeant Janethri Koralagama with a Diamond DA40 NG at Avalon. Photo by Leading Aircraftman Chris Tsakisiris.

AAFC Commander Group Captain Stephen Johns said events such as the Australian International Airshow not only broaden horizons for the cadets, also fuel their desire to pursue a career in the aviation industry or the ADF.

“Air shows provide a unique opportunity for cadets to witness the latest advancements in aviation technology, interact with Defence and industry professionals, and further inspire a passion for flight and space,” Group Captain Johns said.

In 2022, the AAFC Aviation Operations Wing (AOW) added four new Diamond DA40 NG aircraft to its fleet, taking the total to 12.

The aircraft are core to the EFTS and based on the east coast in EFTS Flights at RAAF Bases Amberley, Richmond and Point Cook.

Planning has commenced to establish a fourth AAFC EFTS in the coming years.

In addition to the powered flying program, AAFC also operates a fleet of 11 DG1000S gliders in Queensland, NSW and South Australia.


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