Being an Organisation that branches off from the RAF, we are able to offer our cadets the opportunity to take control of an aircraft for themselves. As long as you over the age of 13.5 you will be able to take to the skies in one of our three aircraft.


All cadets in the ATC are entitled to at least one Air Experience Flight (AEF) each year in our primary training aircraft, the Grob Tutor 115E. Within these 30-45minute flights, cadets will learn the aircrafts basic controls, as well as being given the opportunity to take over and fly the aircraft themselves. These flights are designed to give cadets a very basic overview of what it is like to fly. While on an AEF you may also be given the opportunity to partake in some aerobatic flying. In some instances, cadets have even performed the aerobatic manoeuvres themselves. Aerobatics can include anything from stall turns to barrel rolls; loop the loops to a zero gravity test, all safely performed in the aerobatic Grob Tutor 115E.


For those cadets who are 16 and wanting to go the extra mile, the ATC offers a number of flying and gliding scholarships. There are a number of scholarships available to the cadets, ranging from weekend courses across a number of months, to condensed courses in Scotland over just 2 weeks. The main scholarship is the solo gliding scholarship, completed in our motor glider; the Vigilant.

Within this scholarship, cadets’ knowledge is tested and taken a step further from that of the AEF flights. They are expected to learn all the controls and instruments in the aircraft as well as the rules of the air. They will be shown by their instructors how to take off and land the aircraft, and once confident will be allowed to try it for themselves. The final activity is learning how to spot and react to emergency situations. Although you have more chance of winning the lottery than being in a plane crash, cadets have to be prepared for every eventuality.  They will be taught how to land with no engine, and how to land with limited instruments. Once the instructors are satisfied with the cadet’s knowledge they will allow them to complete a 10 minute solo circuit around the airfield, using all the knowledge they would have acquired while training.

Another available gliding scholarship is a two week course based up in Scotland. This course is a step up from the previous solo scholarship. Here, cadets will complete more solo circuits around an airfield, but will also have to learn to take off, fly and land in more challenging weather and cross-winds.

Military flights

Cadets within also have a number of opportunities while away at RAF bases to have a tour of and a flight in one of the UK’s serving military aircraft. Cadets in the past have had flights in Merlin helicopters, Chinooks, Hawk T1s, Sentinels and Globe-masters while on camps within the ATC, and have even had the chance to fly the Hawk T1s, which are used to train military pilots.