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)
GICs consist of three levels of instruction which introduce the practical aspects of glider flight in a phased approach covering aspects such as how the pitch of the aircraft is changed, how the rudder affects the aircraft in the yawing plane, how to change the aircraft in the rolling plane and the effects of a stall (GIC3). Details of the flight time or number of launches for each level of GIC are given below:
GIC 1 - 20 minutes
GIC 2 - 25 minutes
GIC 3 - 30 minutes
GIC 1 - 3 launches
GIC 2 - 4 launches
GIC 3 - 5 launches
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.