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James Is Flying High!

2015-06-17 12:31:57
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By Flt Lt G G Richards - 2344 (Longbenton) Squadron

A Longbenton lad is flying high after earning his pilot licence and being announced as the top pilot in the Air Cadets!

We reported last year that James Nealings, 20, of West Moor, was recognised the best pilot out of over 40,000 youngsters and won a scholarship to gain his Private Pilot Licence.

James has now completed training that assessed his flying ability, academic aptitude, and air-mindedness as he clocked up the hours he needed to gain his licence at Tayside Aviation, Dundee.

Upon becoming the best pilot in the Air Cadets, whilst at 2344 (Longbenton) Squadron, James was awarded a scholarship with the Geoffrey de Havilland Flying Foundation.

James said, “I fell in love with flying when I joined Longbenton Squadron. I can’t describe how it feels to be in the air – I get an adrenalin rush every time I go up.

“I joined the Air Cadets when I was 13 because I liked the sound of having a go at flying an aircraft. I thought our Commanding Officer was joking when he told us we’d get the chance to hold the flight controls but he wasn’t.

“I’m glad he wasn’t and knew as soon as I had control of the aircraft that I wanted to see how far I could go and now I have my pilot licence and looking to join the RAF as a pilot.

“I am just thankful to everyone who has given me their time and supported me to achieve,” added the ex-Longbenton Community College student.

James remains involved with the Air Cadet Organisation as a Gliding Instructor.   

Longbenton Squadron is currently open to new members from Year 8 and above. Please visit for further information

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