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Two firsts for 229 Sqns Fiona

posted 8 May 2012, 04:49 by 229 Staff   [ updated 8 May 2012, 05:12 ]
Cadet Flight Sergeant Fiona Ross of 229 (Farnham) Squadron Air Cadets has become the first cadet from Farnham, and the first ever female, to win the Royal Air Force Association’s top flying scholarship.  

The award is for 35 hours of flying, equivalent to all the tutoring needed for a Private Pilot’s Licence.  The RAF Association annually awards 5 cadets flying scholarships; 4 sets of 12 hours and a top scholarship of 35.

Over 100 applicants put their names forward, and of these only 12 were invited to RAF Cranwell to attend the Officers and Aircrew Selection Centre and complete the extensive Pilot Aptitude Tests and interviews.

Group Captain Bob Hounslow, Director of Membership and Areas for the RAF Association, was one of the selection panel judges. 

He said: “I was extremely impressed by the standard of the 12 shortlisted candidates this year. They were all truly exceptional and a very talented group of young people, who should be very proud of their achievements.”

Fiona, 18, who currently attends Churcher’s College in Petersfield, said: “I cannot wait to start flying this summer, and cannot thank the RAF Association and my Squadron enough – it is the training and support I have received that has made my dream of flying and a Private Pilot’s Licence a reality!” 

Flt Sgt Ross has attended 229 (Farnham) Squadron for four years, and has already gained a Gliding Scholarship, which saw her fly solo in a Grob 109 aircraft, and an Advanced Gliding Scholarship which she is still completing at RAF Odiham.  Referring to the Air Cadets she said, “There is simply no other organisation in the country that gives young people such opportunities to fly and learn about aviation, let alone all the other opportunities available’.

Flt Lt Bill Whittenbury, 229’s Commanding Officer said, ‘we are proud of all our cadets and Fiona’s personal achievements in the Air Cadet Organisation and beyond have set a fantastic example to the younger members of the Squadron’.

Fiona is due to start her scholarship in July, and hopes to join her University Air Squadron at Glasgow University before pursuing a career in aviation.

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