Heanor college cadets take to skies

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Cadets from Heanor Gate Science College took to the skies as part of an opportunity to fly a plane at their annual summer camp.

The group of youngsters all aged between 14 and 16 years, visited RAF Halton in Buckinghamshire to take part in an eight-day camp that included visiting a RAF Museum, taking part in a drill competition, orienteering, shooting, a low ropes course and learning to fly in a Tutor aircraft.

Heanor Gate Science College set up a RAF-themed Combined Cadet Force (CCF) in September 2013, as part of the government’s Cadet expansion programme that aimed to set up 100 Cadet units in state-funded schools by this year.

Contingent commander Miriam Watson, who is the director of vocational learning at the school, organised the visit to RAF Halton.

She said: “Heanor Gate CCF has now completed its second year and has continued to develop. In the past 12 months, our Cadets have been flying in a Tutor aircraft, visited the Somme Battlefield in June, taken part in joint exercises with Derbyshire Army Cadet Force (ACF) and visited the Imperial War Museum in London as part of a focus on the First World War commemorations.

“The summer camp is a great way for our Cadets to meet other young people from a variety of other schools and learn more about how a working RAF station operates.

“Having the opportunity to control an aircraft when in the sky is a fantastic experience for the Cadets, and something that many other people do not have the chance to experience.”

Cadet Zak Sharman took part in the camp. He said: “In the future I would like to be a helicopter pilot so I thought joining the CCF would give me a good understanding about the RAF and help me to start my career in the future.”