During the Christmas break, one of our Sixth Formers was fortunate enough to travel to Dundee to take part in a two week flying scholarship programme.

The ACPS flying scholarship allowed Year 13 student, Maddie, to take part in 12 hours’ worth of flying lessons, ground lessons and a theory test, all with the aim of flying solo at the end of the course.

On her first morning, Maddie, along with eight other cadets, was collected by bus and taken to Tayside Aviation where she would be completing her training. During her time there, she studied a range of topics relating to aviation theory including air law, radiotelephony, circuits, aircraft information and emergency procedures, which would be repeatedly referenced by the instructors and practised in the plane.

Despite bad winds and unpredictable weather drastically shortening the amount of time that Maddie could spend in the aircraft throughout the course, she was still able to complete all of the ‘sorties’ (lessons) that were needed to qualify for flying the plane solo.

The lessons included meticulous planning for any circumstance that could occur during the solo flight such as drills for engine failure on the runway and after take off, landing without flaps and engine failure before landing.

Maddie, who is a member of the St Edward’s CCF, said that flying has been a lifelong passion and having an opportunity like this to fly solo has only reinforced this. Maddie said, “The responsibility of taking charge of the aircraft was nerve-racking, yet exciting. After 40 minutes of my solo check hour, my instructor asked if I would be okay flying the circuit solo, with no help or support, just me. It was an amazing course and I would recommend it to anyone who is thinking about a career in aviation. I met lots of great people and it confirmed my desire to fly for a career”.