Welcome to the Flying Tyke, 1224 (Wharfedale) Squadron's news blog. Keep checking back to keep up to date with the latest Squadron news.

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Higher and Higher

by Sgt (ATC) Scott Watson

The 16th June provided the culmination of months of hard work for a group of 1224 (Wharfedale) Squadron cadets as they set out to climb the highest mountain in the world...with a slight twist.

The goal was to climb the vertical equivalent of Everest Base Camp to the summit of Mount Everest from the safety of RAF Linton-on-Ouse, using the mobile climbing tower and indoor climbing wall. This equated to a vertical height of over 3000m or just under 400 ascents of the wall!

Prior to the event cadets had been obtaining sponsorship from friends and family with the aim of collectively raising over £500 to purchase climbing equipment. This would facilitate the Squadron’s qualified climbing instructors: Sgt (ATC) Scott Watson and Sgt (ATC) Luke Dowling, delivering the National Indoor Climbing Award Scheme (NICAS) syllabus to 1224 and other local squadrons. The cadets were given several training sessions before the event at our local climbing wall where many realised they had a knack for indoor climbing and were eager to develop after the event had passed.

We completed the climb in six hours with some very tired arms and proud cadets. The day was also host to North Region’s Regional Training Day and with help from the Regional Adventure Training Technical Officer, Squadron Leader Tony Staincliffe RAFVR(T) and climbing instructor in training, Cadet Warrant Officer Tom Smith, we were also able to provide climbing for cadets across the region as they waited between activities.

 Cadet Laura Pennington prepares for her climb

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

MAF Presentation

by Cadet Sergeant Lisa Whitaker

On the 30th May, Brian Harris, who was a CCF officer, and Mike Beetham, who was in the ATC, visited 1224 Wharfedale Squadron to educate us on Mission Aviation Fellowship's (MAF) work, including flying over 130 aircraft all over the world for medical evacuations and safaris, blood and equipment ferrying and carrying mail, with planes taking off or landing every 3 minutes.

They started their presentation with some facts about the MAF. They revealed that 25 countries now have their planes, flying to over 1500 different destinations worldwide, more than any other airline. MAF have many different models of planes, specialised for their cargoes and destinations. Bangladesh is mostly covered by water, so MAF brought in the Cessna 208 Floatplane so that they could land on water. Other planes are designed to carry large loads, such as the Twin Otter, capable of carrying 22 people, or the Cessna 208 Caravan, which can fit a quad bike in it's hold.

MAF have helped to bring aid and rescue to the Boxing Day tsunami in Haiti back in 2004, battling rugged airstrips with rough landings. In many countries the MAF are under threat from rebel attacks and so keep their time on the ground to just 20-30 minutes. But MAF have had good flights aswell, such as flying with Princess Anne, who is a patron to Save the Children, who work alongside MAF.

Mike told us that MAF started out in 1948, with 3 men who served in the RAF flying out to Kenya to meet locals and find out if aid was needed. Their flight took nearly a month with endless refuelling. MAF now can turn a 2 and a half day drive in a 2 hour flight, supplying those in need with life-saving supplies and doctors. They can also provide flights for nearly half the price of most airlines.

The MAF have a display of a Cessna 182 on the 6th July in Sherburn in Elmet, from 10:30am – 3:30pm.

Monday, 10 June 2013

Silver D of E Expedition

by Cadet Sergeant Lisa Whitaker

Saturday 25th May brought the first day of a Silver D of E expedition for four cadets and an adult sergeant from 1224 Wharfedale Squadron.

We set off on saturday morning from the town of Addingham at 10:30am, starting with a long hill climb. After a very slow start we reached the village of Draughton where we stopped for lunch. With the sun glaring down upon us, we headed for Halton East and began the second big hill climb of the day, after which we walked along a very scenic route parralel to the River Wharfe and eventually arrived at our campsite in Appletreewick. We set up our tents and started cooking some food, and one of us enjoyed two steaks for dinner! After a satisfying meal, hot showers were in order followed by a bit of social time before we settled down for the night.

We awoke on Sunday to a chilly morning, with sore feet from many blisters and looking rather red from sunburn. We set off at 9:45am, ready to take the day of a slightly longer walk of 17km. We walked through the town of Burnsall then down into Hebden and after one steep rocky hill and a boggy marshland we reached Mossy Moor Reservoir, where we stopped for well deserved lunch. We then proceeded down the valley into Grassington and then on to the town of Linton and continued to the campsite in Threapland, just outside of Cracoe, where we were to spend our second night of the expedition. We arrived at around 6pm, quickly set up camp and ate our dinner, indulged in a shower and got an early night.

Monday morning started rather cloudy as we crept out of our sleeping bags to cook breakfast. Setting off at 10am with high spirits knowing that it was our last day, we headed for the small village of Flasby, which was at the bottom of a hill that stood between us and the town of Embsay, which was our finishing point. At the top we had a quick rest and looked upon the villages of Hetton and Rylstone, which we had travelled through previously and where we had yet to walk. The rain starting to come down as we trekked the last few kilometres to Embsay where we all gladfully removed out rucsacks and tucked into our remaining snacks from the expedition.

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Wharfedale Adventures Over and Up Hills

Cadets from Wharfedale are having a great time now that Sergeants (ATC) Luke Dowling and Scott Watson have completed their Basic Expedition Leaders Award.

Already cadets from 1224 have been out on a two day assessed Duke of Edinburgh Bronze expedition and a three day expedition in preparation for Silver and Gold DofE levels.

The expeditions are only part of the scheme, with cadets also participating in the community, taking part and improving in sport and developing a skill.

Another of the new opportunities offered this year is the climbing wall - Sgts Dowling and Watson are newly qualified CWA/NICAS instructors and cadets have literally become hooked on the activity. Cadets are taking part in a sponsored indoor climbing challenge at RAF Linton-on-Ouse in mid June where they will climb the equivalent of Mount Everest on a climbing wall to raise funds to purchase more sets of equipment.

In addition two team of cadets have just completed the final round of the National Air Cadet Rifle competition and we eagerly await the results.

Cadets are taking part in a number of local activities in June and July including Armed Forces Day events at Skipton and Bradford and Addingham Gala. In-between all of this, they also have a planned trip to the Waddington Air Show.

Should you be interested in the Air Cadet organisation please look at our website for further details - www.ilkley-atc.co.uk