Former Royal Marine and Falklands veteran Andrew Rigsby joined the Royal Air Force Air Cadets in 1986 at 625 Volunteer Glider Squadron (VGS) at South Cerney. Flight Lieutenant Rigsby is now based at 621 VGS at RAF Little Rissington in Gloucestershire.
He was an A2* Gliding Instructor by 1997 and was commissioned in 1998. Andrew has held all the executive posts within the two VGS units he has served in, including Officer Commanding, and has flown, trained and graded staff and cadets in over 10,000 launches and over 1000 hours of flying.
He lives in Ryde on the Isle of Wight and works as a performance driving coach for Porsche and Mercedes-Benz. Andrew is also an author and his latest book Sabre Prattling: The Language of the Battlefield was published by Beachy Books in 2022.
I joined the Air Cadet organisation in 1986 whilst still serving in the Royal Marines. Training cadets to fly to the standards required is a demanding process.
By 1998 I had experienced the satisfaction of moving up through the VGS instructor ratings. Since then, I have progressed hundreds of cadets and staff to first solo, advanced gradings, instructor preparation requirements, standards, currencies and assessments at a variety of service airfields.
Sending a young pilot on a first solo or completing a grading is hugely satisfying and I have had the pleasure of seeing many progress into military and airline careers.