Sandy Cadet Gets Flight of a Lifetime

On Tuesday 21st August, an Air Cadet from 22 (Sandy) Squadron was lucky enough to get a once in a lifetime chance to fly in a fast jet aircraft.

Flight Sergeant Tiffany Cotton (17) received the flight in a Royal Air Force Hawk T1 aircraft, the same aircraft as the Red Arrows, in recognition of her hard work and dedication to the squadron over the last year, including leading and training the Squadron drill team, training the banner drill team and passing an Air Cadet Leadership Course.

The flight was to take place at RAF Valley, which is located on the Isle of Anglesey in Wales. The day began with a number of checks to ensure Tiff was fit to fly in the Hawk aircraft, due to the physical demands of fast jets.

After being fitted with the kit and equipment needed for her flight, and receiving a flight safety briefing, Tiff was taken out to the aircraft, and would be flying with Flight Lieutenant Scott Noyes, of 208 Squadron.

During the flight, FS Cotton was flown to Liverpool, where the pilot flew the aircraft low level over the River Mersey and Liverpool airport, and at higher altitude went through different manoeuvres, including vertical flight and loops. Tiff then was given the opportunity to take the controls, and with guidance from the pilot, carried some aerobatic manoeuvres.

After around 40 minutes in the sky, the pilot headed the aircraft back to RAF Valley, completing circuits and touch-and-go landings before finally landing the aircraft.

After her flight, Flight Sergeant Cotton said of her experience “This is by far the best thing I have experienced in the Air Cadets. I would never have thought that I would ever be given the chance to fly in, and take controls of a fast jet when I joined cadets.”

22 (Sandy) Squadron Air Cadets