Cadets get the opportunity to take part in Gliding at one of the Volunteer Gliding Squadrons in and around the Region. Much like Air Experience Flying, the cadets are encouraged to take control and fly the Glider themselves, but they can also opt to undertake further instruction and earn their Gliding Wings.
Gliding takes place in one of 2 different gliders, mainly depending upon the Gliding Squadron you visit. Most Squadrons operate the winch launched Grob Viking Glider, but there is also the motorised Grob Vigilant Glider, which has a motor and propeller, allowing it to self launch and fly up to altitude and then glide down.
Blue Aviation Training Package (ATP)
The Blue ATP introduces cadets to aeronautical concepts including the primary and further effects of controls, lift vectors and airfield procedures . There are 4 elements to the training:
- Cadet Aviation Familiarisation Course (FAM)
- Ground school
- Part Task Trainer (PTT)
- Airborne sortie(s)
Following on from the Blue ATP, the Bronze ATP consists of 3 elements to further develop aviation knowledge:
- Ground school elements will revise primary effects of control and introduce attitude maintenance and selection and cockpit drills.
- PTT training will focus on trimming, normal approach and circuit, undershooting and overshooting approaches.
- Airborne sorties at a VGS will demonstrate FRC drills, datum attitude and stability, medium turns and the approach and landing for G Wings.
The Silver Gliding Scholarship provides the opportunity to fly a glider to solo standard. There are 4 elements to the training:
- Knowledge of primary effects
- Development of skills including straight glide, medium turns, approach, landing, stalling and circuits
- Pre-solo check
- Solo flight
The Gold Wings Gliding Training is divided into 2 parts:
- Revision of previous techniques of handling, stall prevention, circuits and launch failures. Additional training will focus on the use of FLARM, a full height winch launch, sortie management and circuit re-joins and advanced turning and landing. This will all be consolidated with a further 5 solo circuits
- Broadening of flying experience by teaching one or more thermal soaring techniques and consolidate with 2 further 30 minute solo sorties
Although parity with standardised military aviation cannot be assured, individuals who have completed civilian gliding scholarships may be awarded the Air Cadet Civilian (CIV) wings in recognition of their efforts.