Gliding At RAF Topcliffe

On the 15th April 2018 six cadets and two staff from 148 (Barnsley) Squadron set off to RAF Topcliffe to visit 645 Squadron Volunteer Gliding School. The day started early as we arrived at RAF Topcliffe just after 0800, which meant some bleary eyes from the cadets on the minibus. We were given a warm welcome and shown the crewroom for our visit. Because we were a little early we were able to join the pilots briefing, which was really good for the cadets and staff to be part of. During which Squadron Leader Stephen Hughes, the Officer Commanding 645 VGS Squadron welcomed our Squadron to RAF Topcliffe.

The cadets then for the whole day were non-stop, first getting kitted out in flying suits, running through the cockpit drills, then in turn sitting their simulator slots before going flying in the Grob Vigilant. The 645 Squadron VGS staff were all excellent with us all day, going way above the normal high standards of being our hosts for the day. Whilst all being very busy they made time to talk with the staff and cadets about flying, gliding, future career options and much more. The staff cadet support during the day was exemplary, a real example of cadets working with responsibility. A summary of the day is an outstanding Gliding school with exceptional staff and staff cadet support, inspiring aviation.

All six cadets completed their ground school, completed simulator training and flew in the Grob Vigilant to complete their Blue Gliding Wings. All cadets were really positive on landing over their air experience. An outstanding day of aviation, delivered professionally and efficiently. Our massive thanks go to all who were part of the experience on the day. A true reflection of our Squadron motto, Spectemur Agendo.

By Squadron Leader Andy Williams RAF AC, Officer Commanding 148 (Barnsley) Squadron.