450 SQN Crest




V  E  N  T  U  R  E       A  D  V  E  N  T  U  R  E

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At the age of 13 and 3 months cadets are permitted to take part in powered flying with the RAF. Cadets can visit an 'Air Experience Flight', normally at an active RAF Station and fly in the Grob Tutor, the RAF basic training aircraft.


Prior to getting airborne, all cadets will watch a safety video and be tested on it. They will also have to prove they understand evacuation and parachute procedures.


Cadets start by learning the basic flying controls of the aircraft, then practice flying it by themselves. However, at all stages, they will be accompanied by an experienced pilot.


Weather permitting, cadets might have the opportunity to experience the thrill of aerobatics. With further flying cadets will start to learn more advanced flying.


Flying in the ATC is an activity that is paid for centrally, therefore there is no additional cost to the cadet.

At the age of 16 and after a Gliding Scholarship cadets can apply for a Flying Scholarship. There are 4 different courses available of which cadets can pick one, they are:



* Light aircraft




* Navigation


* Microlight

A 450 Sqn cadet getting into the Grob Tutor at RAF Benson


The light aircraft course offers 12 hours free flying training with a first solo at the end. The AEF course offers 10 hours of flying training with the Grob Tutor. The navigation course offers 10 hours navigation training. The Microlight course offers 10 hours Microlight training with a first solo at the end.


The successful completion of a course allows you to wear your wings.



On rare occasions cadets might have the opportunity to fly in other RAF aircraft such as the Chinook, Puma, Sea King, Tri-Star, Hercules, Tucano and Nimrod.

A Grob Tutor in flight

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At the age of 16 cadets can apply for a Gliding Scholarship which awards a cadet roughly 40 launches for them to carry out further training on the aircraft and if deemed competent they will undertake a first solo. Successful completion of this course entitles a cadet to wear Silver Wings.


If the first solo is good then cadets can be recommended to complete an Advanced Glider Training course (AGT). This consists of 5 solo flights and advanced training including crosswind landings and advanced turns. Successful completion of this course entitles a cadet to wear Gold Wings


If cadets still show good potential they could have the opportunity to become Flight Staff Cadets (FSC) at their local VGS where the undertake training to become a Gliding Instructor and be responsible for instructing other cadets, whilst being a cadet themselves!

The Grob Viking Glider

A Grob Viking being launched

Once cadets have reached the age of 13 and 3 months they can take part in gliding at a Volunteer Gliding Squadron (VGS).


RAFAC operate a conventional glider, the Grob Viking, which are high performance modern gliders designed for Basic Training. These are operated by 2 Flying Training School (2FTS), based at RAF Syerston and locally at 15 VGS’ across the country,


Cadets will be given the opportunity to do a 'Gliding Induction Course' (GIC) in the efforts to achieve their Blue and Bronze Gliding Wings. Cadets start by undertaking theoretical training, progressing onto a Part Task Trainer simulator in order for cadets to practice the theory before going airborne in a Glider. Each part of the course focuses on using a different control surface of the aircraft which cadets learn and practice.


In addition to flying cadets must help to launch aircraft by attaching cables and holding wing tips. Safety is very important and cadets will have a thorough briefing including a safety video and hangar briefing.

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Air Cadets have the opportunity to participate in the sport of rifle target shooting, on either the .22 Lee Enfield or L98A2 weapons. A "range" is a location designed so that people can take part in shooting under controlled conditions and ranges come in many shapes and sizes. Initially, shooting takes place with the target 25m from the firer, either on a 25m indoor range or a 25m barrack (outdoor) range. Cadets can aim to achieve various marksmanship qualification badges to wear on their uniform. Cadets who prove to be excellent marksmen can go on to the Inter-Service Cadet Small Bore Competition at Bisley, against Sea and Army Cadets. The top 100 marksmen of this tri-service competition gain a Cadet Hundred badge.


Safety is paramount with all ATC activities and shooting is certainly no exception. Training is an integral part of the system and each cadet is fully trained in whichever rifle they will be using before they shoot. Staff whom undertake shooting with cadets will have attended and passed a number of weekend courses with a Regional Small Arms Training Team (SATT) at either a Royal Air Force station or an Army camp, before they can do so. Each cadet also has a 6 monthly weapons handling test to prove that they can safely handle the weapon. Should they fail this test, they are given refresher training before they are allowed to shoot on a range.

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At every range a risk assessment is carried out by the Range Control Officer (RCO). This is to ensure the range is safe for live fire. Cadets must follow all range instructions to the letter and all orders given whilst on or around the range. All Cadets fire from the lying down position either on your right or left side depending on right or left handed, although nearly all of the rifles in the ATC are right handed. Cadets can not fire from any other position.


Finding a comfortable position and breathing slowly will increase your accuracy. You may also use the rifle strap - this will help smaller cadets with the weight by wrapping it around the wrist.


As you can imagine safety is extremely important whilst handling firearms and inappropriate behaviour will be dealt with severely. At the end of any shoot you will be asked if you have any live or fired rounds it is an offence to carry live or spent ammunition from any range.

Cadets 'Dry Training' to ensure competence

Cadets 'live firing' on an outdoor range


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The Duke of Edinburgh Award is a nationally recognised programme of activities that participants can gain in three levels - Bronze, Silver and Gold. The ATC is committed to offering the Award to it's cadets. It's patron is HRH Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh.


Cadets need to be aged 13 yrs and 9 months to enrol onto the scheme and the ATC contribute to the Bronze award so this stage is free for all cadets, however the Silver and Gold awards cost a small amount to enrol.


Cadets will benefit in many ways, increasing their knowledge in various activities and skills. It also looks great on any future CV and there is firm evidence that employers look favourably upon candidates who have attained a Duke of Edinburgh Award.


There are 4 sections to complete for each level, with 1 extra for the Gold. The sections are as follows:


Physical, Volunteering, Skills, and Expedition




Many of the above can be completed undertaking normal ATC duties but some require additional effort away from the Squadron. Typical activities for each section include:


Physical: Becoming fitter through sport, dance or fitness activities - Squadron physical achievements count in this area


Volunteering: Helping somebody, your community or the envirnoment


Skills: Developing existing talents or trying something new - Aeronautics, Marksmanship, Squadron Band, Aircraft Recognition or Radio Skills would count in this area


Expedition: Planning, training for and completing an adventurous journey - which would involve map reading, expedition practice and an assessed expedition


Residential (Gold only): Staying and working away from home as part of a team


Most cadets should be able to achieve each level within 12 months except gold which should take between 18 months to 24 months.


The 'D of E' is now run online and once enrolled you will be able to up date and track your progress - also write your experiences to share with others. So no longer will cadets be losing their D of E record books! For more information please visit www.DofE.org


It is the Squadrons intention that every Cadet enrols on the Award as success in the scheme will help in later life as well as provide new skills and disciplines.


Cadets can learn more by CLICKING THIS DOWNLOAD or contacting their D of E officer through the staff page.

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1) Complete the above form on your computer then SAVE IT


2) Email it to [email protected]


3) Print a copy and get your parent / guardian to sign it


4) Hand the signed copy to the CO - if you are registering for Bronze or Silver you need to include a cheque for £22, or for Gold £29, made payable to '450 (Kenley) Sqn ATC'


Once you are registered you will receive the necessary support, guidance and encouragement from the Staff.


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Arguably one of the most enjoyable and beneficial activities on offer in the Air Cadets, camps come in several different forms.


As an Air Cadet you will get the opportunity to take part in simple, local one night camps under canvas, then more rigourous 2 or more nights camping, to sometimes camping for up to a week, as far and wide as Snowdonia in Wales or the Lake District.


In addition to these camps, there are various specialist camps organised, for cadets who have shown a particular interest in activities such as Drill and Music.


However, the highlight of an Air Cadet's year has to be the  chance to spend a week living at a Royal Air Force Station, getting to see and experience exciting things unavailable elsewhere. Typical activities when away on camp include flying, shooting, sports, competitions, visits and social time.


For those who work hard, there may be the opportunity to take part in an overseas camp - to a place where the RAF or other British Forces may be, or as the guest of an allied country. Overseas camps visited by cadets in recent years include Cyprus, Germany, USA, Australia, France and Hong Kong.


Squadrons are also permitted to organise their own camps. Over the years 450 Sqn has made good use of local facilities such as Frylands Wood in Selsdon and Bramley Training Area, and since 2002 we have also taken a group of cadets to the Isle of Wight on an Adventure Training Week.

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The Squadron meets twice a week - currently on Monday and Friday evenings, at our HQ on the former Spitfire and Hurricane airfield, RAF Kenley.


Members of 450 Squadron experience a wide range of activities whilst taking part in evenings at Kenley. Many of them are to support, or prepare for further off site training for some of the activities already mentioned.


A typical parade evening will consist of a 'First Parade' - similar to morning registration at school, where the plan for the evening will be shared and briefings will commence. The first period of training will then commence, with a short break after around 45 minutes, followed by a second period of training, before 'Final Parade', when all are accounted for and notices are read.


The kind of activities undertaken on a parade evening, may include leadership exercises, teamwork tasks, sports, aircraft recognition, drill, map reading, debating, band practice, competitions, field cooking, aero modelling... the list goes on.


Finally, a significant part of our 'on Squadron' training, involves each cadet attending lessons to prepare for annual exams, which are based on service / aviation / adventure topics, including Principles of Flight, Map Reading, Airmanship, Radio Communications and History of the RAF.


As cadets progress through the classifications, they increase in techincal difficulty and upon reaching a required standard cadets are awarded with a new identification badge. These lessons are essential to a cadet's training and successful completion of a certain stage will result in the cadet receiving a BTEC in Aviation Studies at no additional cost.

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