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National Gliding Course - New Zealand Cadet Forces

An Air Training Corps cadet on the National Gliding Course releases his tow plane in the skies over Matamata during the April course

Cadet Henri Raaijen, 1 Sqn Wellington: A few months ago my Flight Sergeant mentioned the National Gliding Course. A month later I was on my way to Matamata, one of the best places to glide in the North Island.

CDTLAC Baxi Tanay, 3 Sqn LAC, 3 Sqn Auckland: All 14 cadets were put into small groups with an instructor each. We had aero tow launches and I nearly completed my solo syllabus in that week.

CDTLAC Scott Brechin, 18 Sqn Avonhead Christchurch: Day 1: I was first in my syndicate to go up, with an instructor we met just minutes before. Over the next four days the intense training taught us all the many things required to go solo.

Cadet Kenji Taylor, 40 Sqn Auckland: On the second day, I found out that I had to be 15 years or older to do solo, but it was all good because I may come back next year!

CDTCPL Ben Copland, 12 Sqn Invercargill: Being a ‘southern man’ from Southland, I thought gliding would be very different; I now know how challenging it really is to keep a glider in the air.

CDTLAC Edward Ring, 6 Sqn North Shore: On the course we have been taught not only how to fly the aircraft but how to clean and look after them, how to launch and retrieve them and many other skills that will help when I choose to continue gliding.

Cadet Yatharth Mitra, 40 Sqn Auckland: I’ve learnt new aviation skills that go towards my goal of becoming a pilot of the RNZAF The staff were really nice and friendly; the instructors were good and experienced, so I learned pretty quickly.

CDTCPL Bradley Basham, 17 Sqn City of Christchurch: I began to take more responsibilities in the glider, such as pre-take off checks, radio calls, and the responsibilities as a pilot in command.

Cadet Foster Newman, 6 Sqn North Shore: When you get in the glider for the first time it is a bit nerve-wracking but once you get in the sky it is just awesome. I have learnt so much in this week—the best experience I have had!

Cadet Martha Lees, 3 Sqn Auckland: We started as 14 strangers and left as 14 friends. Everyday started at 6.30am, going straight into Daily Inspection after breakfast. Then we flew until 4.30pm, stopping for the occasional break. I now plan to finish my Gliding A Certificate at my local gliding club.

CDTLAC Jacob Williams , 16 Sqn Tauranga: I can now successfully complete a full circuit in a glider in the air, and am working towards a solo flight.

CDTLAC Thomas Stiven, 5 Sqn Rodney: But it was not only the flying, but the friends I have made; this course has bonded us in a way like two years of friendship.

CDTLAC Julien Dovale, 2 Sqn Wellington: Gliding takes a lot of focus, skill and accuracy. But it’s fun, I got to experience new events, meet new people, make new friends and further my experience towards my career.


o       CDTCPL Basham went solo on the final day of course and gained his ‘A’ Certificate. As well, he was awarded the John Borman Memorial Trophy for best all-round cadet on the course.

o       CDTCPL Copland and CDTLAC Brechin went solo on the final day of course and gained their ‘A’ Certificates in gliding.

o       CDTLAC Poole was awarded the National Gliding award for dedication and endeavour.


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