A young flying enthusiast has taken his first steps to becoming a pilot with the help of a Royal Air Forces Association flying scholarship.
Harrison Juhasz, who is an RAF Air Cadet at 331 Squadron (Chesterfield), has completed civilian flying lessons courtesy of the charity.
The RAF Association, which this year celebrated its 100th Flying Scholar, rewards candidates for their community fundraising and welfare work. Harrison received one of five 12-hour flying courses, which he undertook at South Warwickshire Flying School.
Harrison said: “I had wanted to fly since my second birthday, when I was given a Thunderbirds toy! I started going to air shows every year, and joined the Air Cadets as soon as I was old enough.”
Harrison is keen to follow in the footsteps of his grandfather, who served as a pilot in Hungary.
He said: “I just want to keep flying. Of course, I’d love to fly a fast jet one day, but I’ll happily fly anything!” he added.
Molly Henson, who co-ordinated the charity’s 2018 scholarship programme, said: “We’re thrilled that Harrison had the opportunity to get up in the air and complete his flight training. It sounds like he had a brilliant time.”
Applications are now being accepted for 2019. Molly said: “Entrants don’t have to be the next fast-jet pilot! Primarily, we’re looking to reward cadets and Scouts’ commitment to our organisation. Of course, an ability to follow instructions and demonstrate commitment to their goal is essential.”
She added that the charity was particularly keen to hear from young people who may not otherwise have an opportunity to learn to fly.
The Royal Air Forces Association, which provides welfare support to the RAF family, launched its scholarship programme in 2008. It is open to the RAF Air Cadets, which includes the Air Training Corps (ATC) and the Combined Cadet Force (RAF), and the Girls Venture Corps Air Cadets (GVCAC). In 2016, the scheme was broadened to include members of the Air Scouts/Air Explorer Scouts.
Twelve scholarships are available in 2019. Applicants must be at least 16 on January 1, 2019 and under 20 on June 1, 2019. They must also have served at least 12 months with the RAF Air Cadets, GVCAC or Air (Explorer) Scouts on 1 June 2019.
One of the successful applicants will receive 35 hours of training in a light aircraft, and, depending on their rate of progress, could earn their Light Aircraft Pilot Licence. The eleven runners-up will each receive 12 hours’ training.
The application form, along with full terms and conditions, can be downloaded from www.rafa.org.uk/flying-scholarships. The closing date for applications is January 31, 2019.