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Sunday, 12 April 2015

Wharfedale Air Cadet Completes Aerospace Instructors Course

 by Cadet Warrant Officer Callum Parker 
The Air Cadet Qualified Aerospace Instructor Course is a demanding yet rewarding course for senior cadets. Consisting of a selection weekend, six training weekends and a week-long assessment and graduation week, the course requires a huge amount of dedication and commitment.
With an extensive list of subjects the course delivered learning through a range of topics: Air Power, Aerodynamics, Flight Simulation, Air Traffic Control Simulation, Pilot Studies, Leadership and Teamwork as well as Instructional Technique. The vast knowledge in aerospace disciplines was assessed through multiple exams, a 1500 word essay and a challenging 40-minute presentation.

CWO Parker started his Qualified Aerospace Instructors Course journey by making a paper application in the spring of 2014. Having already achieved the status of ‘Instructor Cadet’ and amassing lots of practical flying experience this was the next logical step. After passing the paper application he then had to attend a selection weekend at RAF Linton-on-Ouse at the beginning of September. The selection weekend tested the cadets’ RAF knowledge, flying and air traffic control aptitude, debating ability, leadership ability and presentation skills before whittling the shortlist from 30 applicants to 20. After being successfully selected, the real work was about to begin, CWO Parker started Qualified Aerospace Instructors Course 7 in the last weekend of September.

During the training weekends, CWO Parker was required to learn about all areas of aerospace and perform to the required standard in order to progress. A poor performance would result in a student being put on ‘review’, if improvement was not made thereafter, the cadet would be required to leave the course. As part of the assessment process, CWO Parker had to complete a 1500 word essay on Air Power in which he chose to focus on Air Mobility. Another huge part of the course was the 40-minute Air Power Presentation which was to be delivered to VIPs during Graduation Week. The presentation was to be made and delivered by each syndicate which consisted of four people; CWO Parker’s syndicate had the topic of ‘Precision Guided Munitions’.

Finally, after seven months of hard work, the course culminated with the Graduation Week at RAF Linton-on-Ouse where the course was held. Starting on Friday 27th March, Graduation Week began with a weekend of assessments. Providing the cadets passed this they were able to go on visits as a reward. The course visited the Air Traffic Control tower and flight simulators of 72 Squadron at RAF Linton-on-Ouse in addition to touring the fast-jets of 100 Squadron and 90 Signals Unit at RAF Leeming to see the subjects they had covered in a practical environment. After the visits each syndicate delivered their 40-minute presentation to an audience comprising of senior military commanders along with industry executives. Following the last presentation the cadets were presented with their certificates and Qualified Aerospace Instructor badges before getting ready for a grandiose graduation dinner held at RAF Linton-on-Ouse’s Officer’s Mess.
On the final morning of Graduation Week the cadets were individually debriefed on their performance and presented with the coveted blue lanyard which signified them as an Air Cadet Qualified Aerospace Instructor. CWO Parker passed the course and is the first person from 1224 (Wharfedale) Squadron to have achieved this.



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