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By Jade Beeston - 2505 (Bishop Auckland) Squadron
Cadet S Edwards, 18, of Bishop Auckland Air Cadet Squadron is flying high after successfully completing her Gliding Scholarship.
Stephanie spent several weekends at RAF Topcliffe, where she received tuition in the theory behind gliding, and the technical aspects of flying, as well as practical instruction. By the end of the course, Stephanie was at the standard required to be allowed to fly solo – i.e. as the only person in the glider, with the instructors watching from the ground.
Pilot Officer Jordan Cameron is the Chief Ground Instructor at 645 VGS (Volunteer Gliding School), which is based at RAF Topcliffe. He commented, “it’s wonderful to be able to provide such a unique opportunity to the cadets – not least because their levels of enthusiasm and commitment are excellent. As the cadets progress through the course, their confidence grows alongside their abilities in the cockpit, and we are so proud when they fly solo”.
Flight Lieutenant Ian Pepper, Officer Commanding at Bishop Auckland Air Cadets, said “we couldn’t be more proud of Stephanie. We are thrilled that she has been invited back as a staff cadet – a select group of young people who are chosen to receive further training, to take them to the point where they are able to fly – and instruct! – younger cadets”. Stephanie herself was “very excited to be given this opportunity. Gliding is a fantastic experience; I can’t wait to go back!”
Bishop Auckland Air Cadets meet on Monday and Thursday evenings, 6.45-9.15pm in the building behind the TA centre, St Andrews Road. Anyone aged 13 to 17 is welcome to join – please see our facebook page, www.facebook.com/2505aircadets, for more information.