From the 7th to the 13th of April Cadet Flight Sergeant(CFS) Emily Russell of 422 (Corby) Squadron, RAF Air Cadets (RAFAC), attended the Qualified Aerospace Instructors’ Course (QAIC) Graduation Week.
The Qualified Aerospace Instructors’ Course is a highly prestigious course that provides in depth knowledge into aerospace subjects. These subjects include Aerodynamics, Air Traffic Control, Basic Flight Training, Air Power, Pilot Studies and Radio Telephony to name a few.
The course itself is difficult to get on with only 40 places and over 500 applicants.
The course began in September 2016 with a Selection Weekend that consisted of exams and practical assessments. The top 20 scores for each centre gained a space on the course. Following the Selection weekend, the successful students continued on to the training weekends.
The training weekends were once a month from September 2016 to April 2017. Alongside the intense learning on the training weekends, the students also received a great deal of homework to complete between weekends.
On the final training weekend/graduation week, the students underwent examinations to assess their abilities in the studied subjects. This spanned over a two day period on the 7th and 8th of April. There were both theory examinations alongside practical ones. In addition to this, the syndicates of students had to deliver a 40 minute presentation on their allocated topic. These topics ranged from ISTAR (Information, Surveillance, Target Acquisition, and Reconnaissance) and the Utilisation of Space to the F-35 to Humanitarian Operations.
Qualified Aerospace Instructors are expected to have the same presentational skills as professionals. As part of the Graduation Week the students visited Cranfield University and 72 Squadron based at RAF Linton-On-Ouse. They also attended a graduation dinner at the Officers’ Mess at Linton-On-Ouse.
During the dinner CFS Russell was awarded the top Aerospace Activity Planning student award after she achieved a 5/5 in this topic.
CFS Russell will be the first member of 422 (Corby) Squadron Royal Air Force Air Cadets (RAFAC) to have ever achieved this qualification in its recorded history and can now assist in taking the cadet’s knowledge to the next level.
CFS Russell said, “Attending QAIC has really helped develop me into a better Cadet and NCO. Being able to meet people from all over the country that have very similar interests has really helped pull me out of my shell and increase my confidence. To be able to say that I am now one of around 100 QAIs in the Corps is a great achievement for me. The course has also opened my eyes to other potential opportunities that I could pursue in the future, one of these being Air Traffic Control. I really enjoyed all the modules and now feel a lot more confident in delivering Principles of Flight lessons back at the squadron.”