RAF Air Cadets News

Skip to content

Air Cadets inspire the next generation of female Aviators

Cadets from Central and East Yorkshire Wing ran a successful Basic Aviation Course to celebrate International Women's Day and encourage more female cadets to explore a career in aviation. All the attendees were female, which was led by female cadets from across the Wing as a new initiative. The course was a great success in providing aviation opportunities to cadets from around the Wing - and continues to encourage cadets, regardless of gender, to achieve their true potential.

Wing Aviation Officer, Squadron Leader Adam Waudby for Central and East Yorkshire Wing explains:

Aviation is often a male dominated environment, so we are very proud that we have a good proportion of our team that are women - who have achieved loads and no doubt will go on to achieve far more.

The Basic Aviation Course was created in order to support our squadrons with delivering the Blue Ground Based training and to inform and encourage younger cadets on the aviation opportunities available to them as members of the Royal Air Force Air Cadets. Using our modern virtual reality equipment allows us to really provide an immersive training environment; helping us to ensure that the basic principles of flight and aviation knowledge are understood by cadets – and making the most of their flight experience at one of our Air Experience Flights or Volunteer Gliding Squadrons.

By having our senior cadets involved in instructing on the course, it really does help bring it to life as they share their experiences as older Air Cadets, alongside our volunteer staff some of which have very extensive aviation experience.

Attending the course was Cadet Olivia Penman, 15 from 58 (Harrogate) Squadron, who said:

It has been fantastic and an eye opening course and has absolutely encouraged me to look at aviation opportunities open to me. I will definitely be applying to go flying for real when I can. It was great to meet all the other girls from the other squadrons.

The attending cadets got to grips with aviation, starting off with the Blue Ground Based Training syllabus, and progressing through to completing entire circuits of RAF Leeming in the Grob Tutor using our virtual reality equipment.

Speaking about the course, Cadet Flight Sergeant Lizzie Crebbin, 17, from 58 (Harrogate) Squadron explained:

Our Basic Aviation Course aims to provide younger cadets with an introduction and basic understanding of aviation principles within the organisation. It is taught and led by cadets and staff with varying experience, providing a diverse insight into opportunities available to the cadets. 

Using our virtual reality equipment, we provide the cadets with an immersive insight into what they can expect when visiting our flying or gliding units. I enjoy instructing and running these courses with other team members, building my knowledge and skills whilst passing them down to others. I love that we are supported and trusted to staff these courses and that our opinions and experiences are valued - the course is a product of our combined input over the last few years!

Two Air Cadets using a virtual reality simulator

One of the team running the course was Cadet Flight Sergeant Harriet Emmett, 18, from 2222 (Brigg) Squadron, who commented:

It was nice to see so many young female cadets interested in aviation, and be able to share our experiences of opportunities open to them that we have completed as members of the Royal Air Force Air Cadets. Between our female team today we had one private pilot's licence, two Air Cadet Pilot Scholarship solos, a solo glider pilot and the remaining two team members are currently on the waiting list for Gliding Scholarships. We all get on really well, and it is great to be able to work and laugh in an environment where we are valued for who we are.

Presenting the course certificates was Cadet Flight Sergeant Mollie Wadsworth, 18, from 2431 (Keighley). Not only nominally in charge of the course but FS Wadsworth holds a Private Pilot’s Licence.

AIr Cadets stood with course certificates