A young cadet is on cloud nine after completing her pilot scholarship and being presented with her ‘wings’ by Carol Vorderman - an accomplished pilot herself and air cadets ambassador.
Cadet Warrant Officer Stefanie Forster, 19, from Tring Squadron Air Training Corps (ATC), is no stranger to flying having already flown solo in a self launching glider with the cadets at RAF Halton.
But undertaking training to fly to solo standard in a powered aircraft at a regional airport was another challenge altogether.
She said, “You are given responsibility to fly an expensive aircraft by yourself with other aircraft around you. It is an opportunity I would not have been able to have without the ATC”.
The Air Cadet Pilot Scholarship sees successful applicants venture to Dundee for two weeks of flight training on a light aircraft to solo standard at Tayside Aviation.
This is a big step towards gaining a Private Pilots Licence and opens the world of aviation up to a younger generation that may not have been able to afford the training.
The ATC also offers gliding scholarships, which means cadets can fly solo before they can even learn to drive a car.
Flight lieutenant Andy Bryant, the current Commanding Officer at Tring Squadron, said, “CWO Forster is heavily involved in aviation within the Air Cadets but also enjoys field craft, military skills and is an accomplished target shooting marksman.
“She is a classic example of an excellent cadet that gets out what is put in.”
The ATC is always looking for new recruits and high calibre adults to become staff.
Cadet membership is open to young people aged 12 to 17 and there is no waiting list at Tring Squadron.
Flt Lt Bryant said: “We are located in New Road, New Mill, Tring, and we meet Mondays and Thursdays at 7.15pm. You do not have to join the RAF. “If you are looking for something challenging and rewarding with some unique experiences alongside other young people then why not come along and find out more.”