Air Cadet gliding takes place at Volunteer Gliding Squadrons (VGS) located throughout the country which are staffed by RAFVR(T) officers, Civilian Instructors and cadets. VGS operate one of two aircraft, either the powered, self-launching Vigilant or the more conventional winch-launched Viking. Gliding offers a much more “hands on” experience for cadets as the gliding syllabus reinforces the theoretical knowledge taught on squadrons. Opportunities available to cadets are listed below.
GLIDING INDUCTION COURSE (GIC)
The aim of the GIC course is to put into practice the classroom theory of flight lessons by way of introducing cadets to the pleasures of gliding. The GIC consists of 3 progressive courses and is available to enrolled ATC / CCF (RAF) cadets aged 13¼ who have attended for a minimum of 12 weeks. Designed to give you a taste for Air Cadet Gliding, the GIC consists of three levels of instruction. On your first visit you’ll be taught the GIC 1. Later visits will cover GIC 2 and 3. In these levels you’ll learn all about aerodynamics and controlling the aircraft, first in a classroom, then taking control and practicing what you’ve learned in the air. After you’ve completed the course, you’ll be awarded a GIC certificate.
At 16 years of age cadets can apply for a gliding scholarship which provides gliding instruction of 8 hours or 40 launches to achieve their ‘blue’ wings. Cadets who demonstrate an aptitude for gliding are allowed a further 20% in order to achieve solo standard and gain their ‘silver’ wings. Some cadets will be selected to attend the VGS as Flight Staff Cadets and undergo further training ultimately gaining their ‘gold’ wings signifying that they have completed their AGT. For a few there will be the opportunity to train as instructors.
To be eligible for a Gliding Scholarship cadets should:
- Be aged 16 years or above.
- Have the parents consent to fly and undergo glider pilot training signed in their 3822 Record of Service book.
- Have a completed Form RAF Medical Form 6424, which is free from prohibitive medical conditions, retained by the Wing Gliding Liaison Officer.
- Be highly motivated to attend the VGS each week until the course is complete, regardless of weather conditions.
- No temporary or permanent medical condition that would make flying unsafe for the cadet or instructor.