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Gliding in the cadets is an exciting activity that anyone can enjoy and partake in. The majority of cadets will be able to experience the wonders of a glider flight, and some may even be able to take the experience further and achieve Glider Pilot wings and even become a Gliding Instructor. Gliding opportunies are provided by the ATC to allow cadets to experience another aspect of flying. Gliding slots come around more frequantly than flying slots and are open to all cadets that have completed their 1st Class training. 

ATC Gliding takes place at Volunteer Gliding Squadrons across the country. The nearest one to 633 Squadron is 625VGS - located at RAF Hullavington.

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The Aircraft

Grob Viking TX.1

The Grob G103 Twin II Acro, known by the RAF as the Viking TX.1, is a high performance two seater sailplane. The aircraft can either be winch launched or aero-towed.

The Viking is used in a basic training, high performance and aerobatic role that results in being very cost effective - therefore being perfect for use in the Air Cadet Organisation.

Grob Vigilant T1

The Grob G109, also commonly known as the Vigilant, is a twin-seater, self-powered glider. It was the first motor glider to be built using glass-reinforced plastic. The aircraft is operated by ATC personnel to fulfill both flying and gliding roles.

They were brought into service in 1991 to replace the fleet of Slingsbury Ventures, however no local VGS Squadrons operate the Vigilant.

Qualifications gained from Gliding

Gliding Induction Courses
  • Minimum Age: 13 Years
  • Qualification: None
  • Classification: At least 1st Class Cadet
  • Medical Fitness: A certificate medical fitness is not required
  • Other Requirements: Cadets must be within maximum height/weight criteria

Gliding Induction Courses (GIC's) are designed to let the cadet get a feel for gliding and having control of an aircraft. It also teaches some of the basic principles of flight. There are 3 short GIC courses that teach cadets about the 3 control surfaces of the aircraft. One GIC is usually completed on each visit to the VGS. Any visit's are visit's after this usaully comprise of 'free flight' or aerobatics at the instructors discretion.

Gliding Scholarship
  • Minimum Age: 16 Years
  • Qualification: None
  • Classification: At least Senior Cadet
  • Medical Fitness: A certificate medical fitness from your GP is required
  • Other Requirements: Cadets must be within maximum height/weight criteria

Once a cadet turns 16, they are eligible to apply for a Gliding Scholarship. The Scholarship can either be done as a week long residential course, or done over a series of weekends. The course covers all aspects of flying a glider safely and effectively, with the overall goal of allowing the cadets to go solo. The course entitles cadets to around 50 launches before they are assessed and given the all clear to undertake a solo flight. A cadet with a 'Blue Wings' badge shows that the cadet has completed the scholarship but not undertaken a solo flight. A 'Silver Wings' badge indicates that the cadet has completed the scholarship and completed a solo flight.

Advanced Glider Training
  • Minimum Age: 16 Years
  • Qualification: Gliding Scholarship & Solo (Silver Wings)
  • Classification: N/A
  • Medical Fitness: A certificate medical fitness is required from your GP
  • Other Requirements: Cadets must be within maximum height/weight criteria

If you're one of the best pilots that go through the VGS you may be invited to become a Flight Staff Cadet. This means you can become a member of staff at the VGS and begin Advanced Glider Training (AGT). The AGT Course builds on the knowledge gained from a gliding scholarship and also introduces new skills. Upon successful completion of the AGT you will be awarded with your 'Gold Wings'. An AGT pilot can fly solo, but requires checks from a Senior Instructor before they fly.


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