Cadet Warrant Officer (CWO) James Bland, a 19 year old Air Cadet from 2195 (Long Eaton) Squadron, Royal Air Force Air Cadets (RAFAC), has just qualified as a pilot.
He has been awarded his Private Pilots Licence at Tayside Aviation, through a Royal Air Force Charitable Trust Sir Michael Knight Scholarship.
After six weeks of intensive training at the Dundee based Tayside Aviation, James has become a fully licensed private pilot.
As part of his training James has had to complete a number of theory exams including Air Law, Radio Communications and Pilot Navigation, as well as showing competency in piloting light aircraft. As part of his flying training he completed solo circuits, short navigation flights, qualifying cross country flight (155 NM), a skills test, forced landings and emergency procedures.
James was fortunate in gaining an Air Chief Marshal Sir Michael Knight Flying Scholarship through the Royal Air Force Charitable Trust (RAFCT). Ten of these flying scholarships are awarded each year and, on successful completion, lead to the award of a Private Pilot’s Licence for Air Cadets who, in the opinion of the Commandant Air Cadets, display the most promise for a successful career in aviation.
CWO Bland said; “This was the opportunity of a life time and the pinnacle of my Air Cadet Career achieving my Private Pilot Licence with the Royal Air Force Charitable Trust. Spending six weeks in Dundee with the best of best Instructors and fellow Cadets. I want to say thank you to everyone I have met and who have helped in my development along the way from the start my cadet career. More importantly I want to say thank you to the RAFCT. This has set a foundation to my aviation career that I will always be grateful for and honoured to of have had. Thank you.”
Since joining the Long Eaton Squadron, James has achieved his Silver Duke of Edinburgh’s Award and is working on his Gold, he has won his Silver Gliding Wings, completed the Nijmegen Marches and in 2017 went to America as one of the first cadets to gain a Lo Cox Memorial Exchange. He is also a Qualified Aerospace Instructor, enabling him to teach other cadets the rudiments of flying and navigation using state of the are computer simulators.