Gliding Success and Community Award for Wallingford Air Cadets

Three female cadets from 966 (Wallingford) Squadron have successfully scored a hat trick by completing their Gliding Scholarships within a month of each other.  Cadets Abigail Woollard, Chloe West and Lisa Cox, all 16 years old and pupils at Wallingford School have been awarded their Silver Wings after each made a solo flight in a Vigilant glider at Dalton Barracks, Abingdon.  They were all offered a Gilding Scholarship just after their 16th birthdays earlier this year.  After tuition, each cadet was judged to be competent enough to fly the aircraft on their own without an instructor.  

Their success means that 966 (Wallingford) Squadron, despite its relatively small size, has the distinction of having the highest number of cadets with Silver Wings out of the 26 squadrons in the Thames Valley Wing.

Cadet Abigail Woollard said, ‘It was an awesome experience to be flying on your own and it still seems unreal that I have flown an aircraft solo before I can legally drive a car.

Also this month, cadets from both the Air Training Corps and the Army Cadet Force were interviewed by a panel of judges from the Wallingford branch of the Royal British Legion for the Cadet of the Year Award.  The winner was Flight Sergeant David Payne of 966 (Wallingford) Squadron and he was presented with the award at a ceremony in the Masonic Hall, Wallingford.  This goes annually to the cadet judged to have made significant efforts in personal development and notable contribution to the local community.

Commanding Officer, Flt Lt Tom Churnside, said, ‘Flying an aircraft is a skill that demands an aptitude for mental discipline, forward planning and to be totally focused on what you are doing.  I am delighted with their achievement and also that of Flight Sergeant Payne in gaining the prestigious British Legion award. Long may this squadron continue to turn out cadets of this standard’.

Cpl Woollard