While their mates are probably watching television or hanging out at the shops during the October school holidays, Alysha Gammon and Jurie Boshoff will be soaring with the eagles at Cunderdin on Air Force Cadets gliding scholarships.
“Receiving the scholarship was a massive present, and being given the chance to learn to fly for free is a huge feeling,” said Cadet Sergeant Jurie Boshoff of Boulder, who is 16 in August.
“We should both reach solo status before the end of our 10-day Elementary Flying Training Course at Cunderdin,” said Cadet Sergeant Alysha Gammon (16) of Kalgoorlie.
“If we qualify, we will be allowed to take off, fly and land a glider alone, with no one else in the cockpit.”
Both Cadets aspire to become RAAF pilots and see the gliding course, which includes aviation studies, navigation and glider pilot training, as the start of their formal flying careers.
“Gliding is unlike powered flight because there is very little noise – just the wind,” said Jurie.
“In addition, the cockpit is like being in a plastic bubble, so you can see everything more clearly.”
“We’ve heard that sometimes the gliders at Cunderdin are accompanied by eagles, so that would add another dimension to what will already be an extraordinary experience.”
Each scholarship is valued at over $1,200 and they are awarded annually on merit by the Australian Air Force Cadets, with support from the RAAF.
The Air Force Cadets is Australia’s leading youth organisation, and the Kalgoorlie-Boulder Squadron meets from 6pm each Monday at the Cruickshank Sports Arena.
Young people, aged 13-18 of both sexes, with an interest in aviation, are welcome to participate in hands-on flying, shooting, bushcraft, aviation, avionics, and ceremonial activities.
For more information, visit aafc.org.au, or call Leading Aircraftman (AAFC) Brenton Smith at the Squadron on 0437 515 759.