Cadets’ flight of a lifetime

PUBLISHED: 12:52 26 October 2006 | UPDATED: 11:06 06 May 2010

The cadets

The cadets

A PARTY of air cadets got a first-hand experience of high level operations. The cadets from 22 Squadron Sandy Air Cadets spent three hours on a mission over the UK in an RAF VC10 tanker, refuelling Tornado fighters in mid-air as they flew at more than 30

A PARTY of air cadets got a first-hand experience of high level operations.

The cadets from 22 Squadron Sandy Air Cadets spent three hours on a mission over the UK in an RAF VC10 tanker, refuelling Tornado fighters in mid-air as they flew at more than 300mph.

The lucky cadets travelled to RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire for the start of the experience of a lifetime that took them on the re-fuelling exercise over the Newcastle area.

Cadets watched the crew perform the intricate manoeuvres of calling in the fighters so they could take on board hundreds of litres of aviation fuel a minute before leaving to complete their sorties.

Officer commanding 22 Sandy Squadron Flt Lt Margaret Bell said: "We had been on the waiting list for over four years for this trip and we were the first squadron to be able to fly since 2005.

"The cadets were really looking forward to the trip, although there was always the chance of it being cancelled at the last minute due to operational commitments so everyone had their fingers crossed on arrival and it paid off."

Sgt John Redman said: "Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the trip. There was a definite buzz in the air all afternoon.

"Cadets were given the run of the aircraft following take-off under the watchful eye of the air loadmaster.

"We were able to get a bird's eye view out of the windows and on the flight deck of the refuelling process from the wings. It was an experience the cadets will never forget."

Cdt Sgt Paul Redman said: "It's the best thing I have ever been able to do. It can't be beaten."

The Sandy squadron is actively recruiting cadets both male and female age 13 and over. If you are interested, log on to the website at www.sandy-aircadets.org.uk or call 01234 307776.


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