The Air Cadets offer a rare opportunity to enjoy free flying in the shape of Air Experience Flights (AEF). 135 Squadron does the majority of its AEF flying at RAF Benson in Oxfordshire.
All of the pilots serving with the Air Experience Squadron are either current or former service aircrew, most will have completed many hours flying in the full mix of service aircraft.
The purpose of AEF flying is to train you in basic flying operations. From your first flight you will be encouraged to take control of the aircraft in flight. If you want there may also be the opportunity to experience aerobatics! Don’t worry thought its not mandatory and you may prefer just to fly the airplane around.
The aircraft that is assigned to Air Cadet AEF is the Grob Tutor, it is a single engine, twin-seated purpose made tutor aircraft. It offers great visibility and you side by side with the pilot so they can easily show you what’s going on.
The Air Cadets offers you the chance to apply for a full flying scholarship. The application for this is lengthy and involves a short spell at the Officer and Aircrew selection facility at RAF Cranwell. If you have aspirations to be RAF Aircrew then this is a great experience and if your successful you are allocated up to 45 hours flight training in one of the UK’s flying clubs.
This training includes all the required elements to obtain your Private Pilots Licence, which you can complete yourself after the flying scholarship has completed. As recognition of your achievement you are presented your wings and can wear them on your Air Cadet uniform.
All AEF flying and Pilot scholarships are paid for by the ATC or by charity grants. The cost to cadets is covered by the annual subscription fee.