Fifteen cadets from Mount Isa’s 111 Squadron Australian Air Force Cadets (AAFC) recently took to the skies to experience a flight in a one of a kind Bell 505 helicopter.
The helicopter is one of two in Australia.
The 25-minute flight over Mount Isa and Lake Moondarra was to give the eager cadets the experience of flying and the opportunity to chat with the pilot and ground staff.
Commanding Officer of 111 SQN Flt Lt. David Pringle said that the cadets were extremely pleased to have a flight in the helicopter and to observe how the various inputs from the pilot affected helicopter flight.
“Many of our Cadets hadn’t flown in a rotary wing aircraft before,” Flt Lt. Pringle said.
“The cadets had a great time and enjoyed the experience at seeing how a helicopter is operated by the pilot.”
Most of the cadets were, however, more familiar with normal aircraft having flown before in commercial or military aircraft.
“When the opportunity arose to have the cadets participate in a helicopter flight, it was a resounding ‘yes’ from all the Cadets.”
The cadets learn about different aircraft and general aviation knowledge as part of their involvement in the AAFC.
“Air experiences like this flight help to build their knowledge and interest in all things aviation related,” Flt Lt Pringle said.
Acting Cadet Sergeant Ryan Hardie said the flight was awesome.
“It was really good to observe the different handling techniques of a rotary wing aircraft compared to a normal aircraft,” Acting Cadet Sergeant Hardie said.
Leading Cadet Mishmael Kelly and his sister Gracelyn also had an opportunity to fly.
“Both Mishmael and Gracelyn were initially apprehensive as this was their first opportunity to fly in a helicopter,” Flt Lt Pringle said.
The flights were organised by the Australian Defence Force.
The 111 Squadron is actively recruiting for young men and woman aged 13 to 18 years to become members. Please contact David on 0488572113 for further information.