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Home > News and Events > Year 9 Gliders

Year 9 Gliders

4 Jul 24

Year 9 RAF Cadets travelled to RAF Syerston near Newark recently, ahead of the opportunity to glide. After a full safety briefing and demonstration to ensure students understood procedures on training models, they set out towards the airfield. Hear more about the day and the experience from Ishan in his report.

Year 9’s Ishan

I was so happy to be selected to take part, as it is a unique and amazing experience – completely worth the 5.00am start!

When we arrived at RAF Syerston in Newark, they were ready and waiting for us, everything had been very well organised; I was excited to say the least!

We were escorted to the briefing room where we received a thorough safety briefing, including what to do if we had to eject from the aircraft. Part of that briefing was to ensure we could all eject and pull the parachute if needed – although the thought of it was terrifying, it was great to learn about everything and it actually helped reassure us all ahead of the flights.

We were soon on our way to the runway, travelling in a minibus to get there and treated to the sight and sound of two Tornado fighter jets along the way!

As soon as we got to the runway, the crew were very efficient in making sure the aircraft were ready to fly; almost immediately two jets were ready to go.

Sitting in the cockpit was surreal, as in a matter of 30 seconds, I knew I’d be 1,200 ft up in the sky. To get into the sky, they attach a cord to the underside of the aircraft and the pilot calls on the radio to the crew member to “Take up the slack!”, which means make sure the cord has no slack to enable the aircraft to be taken up the runway – and very high into the sky.

On take-off I experienced pulling 3Gs, meaning you weigh three times your body weight – it’s quite an intense feeling! Once up in the sky, the cord drops from under the aircraft causing a sudden drop in altitude, which although scary was exhilarating, as you then know you are up in the sky!

I was lucky enough to experience two flights, the first time for familiarisation – the pilot explaining the airbrakes and instruments, telling me to keep the ball in between the two lines or ‘goal posts’. Landing was surprisingly smooth. On the second flight, as soon as the cord dropped, the pilot told me I had control until landing – it was a full on adrenaline rush, but an incredible feeling and experience.

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