One of No3 Welsh Wing's recently appointed Staff Cadet Warrant Officers, SCWO Jacob McNicol of 948 (Haverfordwest & City of St.Davids) Squadron, is flying high with success, having just achieved his gold gliding wings. He is now entitled to wear a brevet on his uniform.
Advanced Glider Training is the third step a cadet can embark on in as a Cadet Glider pilot. Each Cadet starts by doing the Glider Induction Course (GIC 1) and if they show the aptitude and commitment they move on to GIC 2 and 3.
Once a cadet is sixteen years of age, they can apply for a Gliding Scholarship (GS). By the end of their GS, they achieve either Blue (Ghosted Solo) or Silver wings (Solo). If they achieve Silver wings and show true potential, they could be selected for advanced glider training.
Each year, only two Cadets are fortunate enough to be selected for a Gliding Scholarship from amongst the cadets of No3 Welsh Wing, which covers the whole of South West and West Wales.
The courses provide a great understanding of the aircraft and cadets develop advanced handling techniques. They have to improve their upper air skill, as well as advanced turns, where they bank the aircraft up to 45 degrees.
Advanced landings are also an element of the on-going training, where they are taught to land in a crosswind and how to achieve the best rate of decent for pin point accurate and safe landings.
Jacob (pictured above at the controls of his glider) said, "Personally my AGT took me just over 6 hours with the upper air work. I would have been just hitting the five hour mark if it was not for adverse weather conditions getting in the way. I really enjoyed completing my AGT and have always had a passion for flying. After completing my GS and getting my Silver wings, I was delighted when I found out I had been invited back to undertake my AGT. It was a great feeling to learn that I was good enough to proceed with the training! In the future, I hope to be able to carry on expanding my knowledge and skill in aviation by hopefully getting a Flying Scholarship too. Now my hope is to be asked back as a permanent Flight Staff Cadet on 636 (Swansea) Volunteer Gliding Squadron, which is based at at Swansea airport."
Wing Commander Mike Stones, Commanding Officer of No3 Welsh Wing, RAF Air Cadets, who is an adult volunteer with the Air Cadets, said, "We are very proud of Jacob. Jacob typifies everything that we aim to achieve as an organisation. We aim to produce enthusiastic and thoughtful young men and women who will strive to succeed in whatever walk of life they choose.
· To encourage a practical interest in aviation and the RAF;
· To provide training that will be useful within the ATC and civilian life;
· To foster a spirit of adventure while developing qualities of leadership and adventure."
"Membership of the ATC is exciting, rewarding and above all fun. Our cadets and adult volunteers alike learn skills and discover aptitudes they never knew they had. They do things and visit places they never thought they would, and they meet lots of like-minded people who become team-mates and lifelong friends. This year the Wing are organising overseas trips to Nijmegen in The Netherlands, Gibraltar, and to Normandy. Two years ago we held a major parade through the streets of Swansea. In addition, in July some of our cadets will attend a special camp at RAF Fairford in Gloucetershire getting up close to some truly amazing aircraft."
"Cadets and adult volunteers also have the opportunity to challenge themselves with adventurous training, cadets can be selected to represent their country or school on the International Air Cadet Exchange programme, or develop their potential on the Air Cadet Leadership Course. Youngsters can really shine as a cadet."
Details of the location of the twenty four Air Cadet squadrons in South and South West Wales can be found at: http://www.aircadets-3ww.org.uk/index.htm or by ringing Headquarters of No3 Welsh Wing in Swansea on 01792 405912