Three servicemen from RAF Coningsby will be able to pursue their dream of learning to fly following their success in the Junior Ranks Pilot Scholarship Scheme.
The three, Senior Aircraftman (SAC) Matt Meikle, SAC (Tech) Olli Slough and Leading Aircraftman Moray Austin, have each won a place on an annual scheme which is funded by the Royal Air Force Charitable Trust. In association with the RAF Flying Clubs' Association, each year the scheme enables 30 RAF personnel at the rank of Corporal or below to receive flying lessons that will take them up to ‘solo’ standard in many cases.
Station Commander RAF Coningsby, Group Captain Mark Flewin said,
"Every pilot remembers their first solo, and the feeling of exhilaration when you are able to pilot an aircraft on your own for the first time. I’m delighted that Matt, Olli, and Moray will hopefully now get that experience and I’m extremely grateful to the scheme for the opportunity they have presented"
SAC Slough said,
“I was over the moon to be accepted. This was the fifth time I have applied and as the RAF motto says, ‘through adversity to the stars’, just keep trying until you get it, and I did. It’s such a great opportunity to be given.”
LAC Austin said,
“It’s a privilege to be accepted onto this scheme. I’ve loved aircraft and flying from a very early age and I am ecstatic to have this opportunity. I think I will also gather skills and experience that will help me in the future.”
SAC Meikle said,
“I think my first solo flight will be great, like that feeling driving your car for the first time after passing your test, it will be amazing to be able to fly an aircraft on my own for the first time.”
The airmen will begin their training shortly, with first solo flights potentially as early as April or May.