Youngsters Take to the Air
Another successful Young Flyers event has taken place at the Airfield at RAF Halton, with children from the surrounding area being given 20 minutes of air experience flights with a view to encouraging their interest in aviation as a career.
RAF Halton is the home of Sport Aviation within the RAF, housing Halton Aeroplane Club (HAC) which is the largest Military Flying Club, it organised and hosted the event and has been recognised as flying over 20% of the ‘Young Flyers’ in the UK. The concept originated in the USA as the Young Eagles in 1992 with the aim of flying one million children prior to the Centenary of Flight and since it’s inception, over 1.5 million young people have flown for the first time within the programme.
Priority places were given to Service families from RAF Stations, Halton, High Wycombe, Northolt, Benson, Odiham, Henlow, Northwood HQ and MOD London with the remaining flights allocated to children of civilian families local to RAF Halton.
The event started with an airfield inspection and weather check liaising with RAF Benson. The pilots, who give their time freely, had their documents checked and were given a briefing before the event opened.
Officer in Charge of the RAF Halton Aero Club, Group Captain Mark Manwaring said “We have been running this event since 2000 and this year was the smoothest and most successful yet. Through the generosity of our members, 107 children of Service personnel enjoyed a 30 minute flight on a stunning summer’s afternoon around the Vale of Aylesbury. We were also able to give them a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) work sheet and some RAF Benevolent Fund souvenirs to take home along with their prestigious Young Flyers’ Certificate!
The 8-18 year old age group is perfect for inspiring STEM subjects and if that leads to an interest or even a career in aviation, we will have made a big difference. It will be the same again for 2018, the RAF Centenary Year!”