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Guest ba747heavy

How important is joining the air cadets?

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Hi, I am really interested in flying(as im sure you know), and want to become a commercial pilot. I have had 2 training flights now, but each time i have tried to be persuaded to join the air cadets.I have thought about this for hours and with al the flying etc it seems a good idea, however there are things that the air cadets do that i do not want to do e.g. camping, shooting etc.So as i am at an important year of my life a connot aford to go camping all the time etc.So my question is:How important is joining the air cadets in my career moves to become a pilot?THANKSJason.I

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Well, I really ought to answer this one. Are you referring to Britain's Air Training Corps, and how old are you?I can offer these general thoughts. When I was in it--it was a school squadron--me and the lads had the times of our lives. In my experience there was no camping involved, unless you count the time that we voluntarily camped in a huge tent at Biggin Hill to provide "security" for the parked planes at an air show. Once a year, at Easter in our case, we were taken on what was referred to as "Annual Camp" to an RAF station where we stayed in a billet (essentially a large dorm room) for a week, and went flying, trod around the back fields with maps, and shot rifles at the range. That week was the highlight of the year by far for us.When I was in the cadets you could apply for a flying scholarship, and if accepted (after rigorous testing and interviewing at Biggin Hill's air crew selection centre) the RAF would pay for you to train up to, or close to, private pilot's license standard at a civilian flight school. I had a close friend who did just that. You could also be trained to go solo in a glider, and I did that myself.I don't know if they still have them, but undergraduates at certain universities, Southampton for example, could join an RAF University Air Squadron, and get more training on the week-ends and during the summer, even without a commitment to join the RAF. Again, I had two good friends who attended college in Portsmouth and who did that (at Southampton) on a civilian basis (they had no plans to join the RAF).Obviously the air cadets can help you further your goals in aviation, but I wouldn't think it's important to join the cadets for that purpose. If you're not happy running around in fatigues with a map and a compass I'd stay away if I was you. For me and a number of friends it was a terrific experience though.

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Joinging a flying club is a good move. Good experience and the like... I know here in the US, if you do the CAP you get to fly some planes around for free if I recall. It also saves your money.. wish I had done that.. a little late now :-lol

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Actually, Marcus, with the Civil Air Patrol you can no longer do your PPL with them, people started to take advantage of the very low cost. You can still do your other ratings with them, which is what I plan to do. :)

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Jason,I know a lot of airline pilots who got their start in the CAP. I was also in the CAP as the Emergency Services Director for the KC Downtown Squadron as well as in California and Colorado Wings. It's also a good place to mark flight time amongst the numerous other benefits.

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>people started to take advantage of the very low cost.No kidding! Low cost means greater demand. Everyone and there brother knows that. Makes me wonder why the CAP didn't ;)

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