966 Cadet receives RAF Association Flying Scholarship

Cadet Flight Sergeant Siena Whiteside has been awarded a 12 hour Royal Air Forces Association Flying Scholarship 2011.

The RAF Association awards five scholarships to Air Cadets annually. The overall winner receives a 35 hour flying scholarship, and the four runners-up receive 12 hour scholarships. Scholarships are flown at South Warwickshire Flying Club and cadets follow the syllabus for award of National Private Pilot Licence (NPPL).

There were over 70 applications for the scholarships this year, and 12 short-listed applicants were invited to RAF Cranwell for the final selection board. Selection involved undertaking the RAF Pilot Test Battery aptitude test followed by a Board Interview with leading members of the RAF Association.

This year’s scholarship winners were invited to the RAF Association’s Annual Conference 14-15 May, for award of their scholarships.

The cadets were hosted at the York House Hotel in Eastbourne, and invited to the Flying Scholarship Dinner on Friday evening. The guest of honour was Commandant Air Cadets, Air Commodore Barbara Cooper, who proved to be a delight to meet. In her speech, she commented that, having had no children of her own, overnight she became responsible for over 40,000! She exhibited her joy in having such a caring responsibility as Commandant Air Cadets. Others attending the Flying Scholarship Dinner included Eddie Cox, Bob Hounslow and two RAFA Liaison Officers.

Following a wonderful dinner, scholarship winners and others attending the Scholarship dinner joined other RAF Association members for some refreshments, with background music provided by an ensemble of the Central Band of the RAF.

On Saturday morning, the cadets met the Air Member for Personnel, Air Marshall Pulford, who later presented their awards in the Conference Hall, in front of 700 members of the RAF Association. The award-winning cadets were introduced as ‘the top cadets in the Air Training Corps’. The guest speaker, Air Marshall Pulford gave an extremely interesting and informative speech about current and future RAF operations and the impacts of the Government cuts across the sector.

The winning cadets look forward to completing their RAFA Scholarships this summer. FS Whiteside plans to complete her NPPL during the scholarship; her next step towards a flying career.

From left: FS Tom Bean (12 hours), FS Siena Whiteside (12 hours), Sgt Rob Watson (12 hours), Air Commodore Barbara Cooper, Sgt Jonathon Coates (35 hours), CWO Vici Bates (12 hours)