Gliders Return to 645 VGS at RAF Topcliffe

17 Oct 2016


The Air Cadet Glider Recovery Programme hit its latest milestone by returning Grob Vigilants to 645 Volunteer Gliding Squadron.

Gliding across the organisation has been paused and is slowly restructuring to safeguard the future of gliding.

Since then work has been on-going in the background to get the fleet back in the air and the squadron has been under the guidance of No2 flying training school (2FTS) of the Royal Air Force.

The day marked one of the biggest steps towards recovering Air Cadet Gliding as ZH207 crewed by Flight Lieutenant Dave Smith and Flight Lieutenant Anton Murfin took off and climbed up into the beautiful blue sky marking the start or Flying again at RAF Topcliffe.

The team ta 645VGS will now focus on getting all the instructors current again and ensuring the unit is operating to the required standard under the supervision and guidance of 2FTS.

Once this is complete 645 VGS will be handed over to its own executive team ready to fly cadets again in the near future where they are looking forward to welcoming cadets.

The next day also saw another fantastic achievement and another step closer to operations at RAF Topcliffe as the first 645 VGS only crew got airborne.

The afternoon saw Officer Commanding 645 VGS Squadron Leader Steve Hughes and Chief Flying Instructor Flight Lieutenant Alan Crowley don their parachutes and headsets and walked out to ZH207.


As they taxied out Officer Commanding 645 gave a smile and a thumbs up as they left the flight-line. They undertook a sortie which lasted just over an hour to carryout Flying Ability Training where they conducted a number of practice emergencies and general handling exercises.

On their return Squadron Leader Steve Hughes said: "It is fantastic to fly from our beautiful airfield again.

“We have looked forward to this day and it's great to now be able to do it".

In the coming weeks the squadron hopes to get the majority of its instructors back in the air and start their reintroduction to flying from their home base.

Air Cadet Magazine

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Air Cadet Magazine

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