Cadets are instructed in activities very similar to those taught to the army section. There is less emphasis placed on the army field craft but much more on the theory of flight, model making, air navigation, radio communications and aircraft recognition. Flight simulator packages are used as well. Theory and practical exams are taken and once these have been passed and the cadet reaches the required age they are allowed to fly in RAF aircraft.
Once cadets have reached the age of 13 years 9 months and have passed their exams they are allowed to fly in the co-pilot’s seat of a Grob Tutor or a Grob Vigilant (a powered glider). They will get the chance to do aerobatics or even be allowed to take the controls all under the watchful eye of a fully qualified RAF pilot instructor. Flying activities take place twice a term and on
annual camps, where a greater variety of aircraft are available.
RAF cadets attend either the Easter or Summer annual camp combining with other schools for their training and activities. They will be housed on an active regular RAF station, which may be a front line flying base or a support base.
These camps are less strenuous than the army camps and give a form of RAF work experience. Cadets follow a package of activities where they visit and work alongside tradesmen and women e.g. dog handling, aircraft maintenance, fire section, air traffic control. Some of the training is geared towards leadership and teamwork development.
Senior RAF cadets are given the opportunity to compete for flying scholarships – they are taught to fly solo in either powered aircraft of gliders and can lead to acquiring a civilian pilot’s licence! This is the pinnacle of achievement for any RAF cadet and is the culmination of several years of cadet training.