10 Air Experience Flight

10 Air Experience Flight

Infobox Military Unit
unit_name= 10 Air Experience Flight

dates= 8 September 1958 - Present
country=flagicon|United Kingdom United Kingdom
allegiance= air force|United Kingdom
branch= Air Cadet Organisation
role= Training
garrison= RAF Woodvale
aircraft_trainer= Grob Tutor

10 Air Experience Flight (AEF) is one of twelve Air Experience Flights run by the Air Cadet Organisation of the Royal Air Force. It was formed in the 1950's, along with the other AEF's, with the aim of teaching basic flying to members of the Air Training Corps (ATC), Combined Cadet Force (CCF) (Royal Air Force) Section (although it has been known for cadets from other sections of the CCF to fly with the AEF's if space allows) and occasionally, again when spaces allow the Girls Venture Corps Air Cadets and the Air Scouts. It mainly flies Cadets from the local wings; Cumbria and North Lancashire Wing (North Lancashire half only as the Cumbrian half use 11 AEF at RAF Leeming, due to the distance from RAF Woodvale), East Cheshire and South Manchester Wing, Merseyside Wingand No. 2 Welsh Wing, East Lancashire Wing CCF contingents and Air Scouts however it will also fly cadets on annual camp at RAF Valley, when it will sometimes send an aircraft to RAF Mona for a day to fly the cadets on camp there, to increase the chance of flying all the cadets due to the long journey from RAF Valley to RAF Woodvale by road. Air cadets and CCF sections from Northern Ireland also fly at Woolvale.


10 AEF was raised on the 8th of September 1958 at Royal Air Force Woodvale, which is located near Southport. 10 AEF remains at RAF Woodvale and is one of the few AEFs that has not been moved to another location or temporarily disbanded and later reformed. In 1996 10 AEF was placed under the command of Manchester and Salford Universities Air Squadron (UAS), one of the two UAS' to operate out of Woodvale, the other being Liverpool University Air Squadron.

10 AEF currently fly the Grob Tutor Aircraft, which they gained in 2001, prior to that they flew the Scottish Aviation Bulldog from 1996 and the de Havilland Canada DHC-1 Chipmunk from 1958 - 1996. In both cases where the Air Experience Flights have updated their Aircraft, 10 AEF has been the last to receive the new aircraft. 10 AEF, like all AEF's no longer own their own aircraft but use the available aircraft from the two UAS' at RAF Woodvale.

Permanent Staff

10 AEF has a team of pilots who fly the cadets, they must have 200 hours recorded as a pilot within the RAF, Fleet Air Arm or Army Air Corps, most are drawn from the RAF. Pilots apply to join an AEF through Headquarters Air Cadets and undergo security and Criminal Records Bureau checks (which all ACO adult staff have every 4 years). If accepted, pilots serve a four year tour and have to be renewed if they wish to carry on for further tours. A pilot may continue with an AEF until 67, although after 65 the renewals are annually. On appointment pilots will be commissioned (if not currently regular pilots) as Flying Officer's in the RAF Reserves resulting in several senior and air officers holding the rank of Flying Officer for work with AEF's and a much higher rank for other duties. 10 AEF also has several Flight Lieutenants, one of whom, is appointed as the Commanding Officer (CO), in the past the AEF's flight commander would hold the rank of Squadron Leader.

10 AEF is assisted by a team of Survival Equipment Fitters (occasionally referred to as Squippers), from VT Aerospace, all have previous regular military service in the area. Their responsibilities are to service the aircraft, issue the cadets their flying equipment and to check the cadets are secured into the aircraft.

Occasionally 10 AEF receives holding officers from the RAF waiting for their trade course to start. For their tenure at the AEF they generally are placed on the Flight Staff Team or if an officer undergoing pilot training has already completed an amount of their pilot training they will sometimes fly cadets.

Flight Staff

In addition to Pilots and Survival Equipment Fitters, there are also a team of Flight Staff Cadets (FSC's) and Adult Flight Staff, who are commanded by the Officer in Charge Flight Staff (OICFS), a RAFVR(T) officer who answers to the CO 10 AEF. The OCFS will organise the rota for the duty days, flight staff are expected to attend, they will also be responsible for the selecting of new flight staff and making sure former flight staff return their kit.

Potential flight staff usually have to be of at least Cadet Corporal rank and Staff Cadet Classification (for ATC cadets) and Cadet Junior Corporal and Proficiency 3 Classification (For CCF RAF Cadets), some exceptions to this rule have been made in the past, but are rare. They are normally drawn from the local ATC squadrons or CCF units within a reasonable traveling distance. Applications are to be made in writing and potential Flight Staff are interviewed by the OC Flight Staff or occasionally the OC 10 AEF, if appointed they will serve a probationary period of about three months.

Flight Staff will after a probationary period, be issued a set of flying kit, comprising of an Airman’s or Airwoman’s No. 1 Service Cap for Flight Staff Cadets (FSC's), Uniformed Adult Staff should be issued this elsewhere and ATC Civilian Instructors, do not wear headgear but only wear Disruptive Pattern Material (DPM) uniform although not for AEF or Volunteer Gliding Squadron (VGS) duties, or flying uniform when circumstances require them to be worn. Flight Jacket/ Cold Weather Jacket (Olive Green), white knee boards and clear plastic covers (for recording details on in the aircraft or on the taxiway), Flying Gloves (White), Flying Suit, Aircrew socks and Aircrew roll neck top. Boots (not necessarily flying boots, but these are preferred) and unit/ name badges must be worn by both Pilots and Flight Staff but are to be purchased (boots privately, badges from 10 AEF) a 10 AEF T-shirt is an optional option that can be purchased from the OCFS. The badges can either be sewn directly onto the flying suit and flying jacket or cadets can have velcro fitted to the badge and clothing by the survival equipment fitters, this is usually at a cost per badge. Many Pilots and Flight Staff also purchase a personalised unit mug.

The 10 AEF unit badge, Tutor Badge and the 10 AEF T-Shirt are also available for visiting staff and are available for visiting cadets and their staff to purchase, this is popular with badge collectors in the ATC. However name tapes and the 10 AEF Flight Staff "Tutornator" badges are only available to Flight Staff, although the 10 AEF Flight Staff badge, is worn instead of the Tutor badge on the upper left arm have occasionally been purchased by ex flight staff, on request. The 10 AEF unit badge is worn on the upper right arm and the name tape is worn on the left hand side of the chest.

Members of the Flight Staff Team should attend the days when 10 AEF are flying cadets and will usually on the weekends where a group of 50 cadets from an ATC Wing will fly per day. Non ATC flights are usually smaller and generally serve CCF units or ATC Sqn's who have organised special slots, these run from Tuesday to Friday and are less likely to be assisted by flight staff who are usually either in education or work. Their responsibilities are to conduct the briefing before any cadets fly, assist with the running of the flight, to maintain the flying log, make sure the cadets get to the aircraft safely and look after the safety and maintain the discipline of the visiting cadets and staff whilst on the ground. The rank of a member of flight staff is secondary to their appointment, insofar as they are staff on the unit, so a visitor to the unit of a higher rank is to listen to what the flight staff has to say, especially when about safety or station regulations. If a visitor is misbehaves, a member of the flight staff team will correct them.

10 Air Experience Flight Social Events

10 Air Experience Flight also organises several social events during the year for its staff. They are generally held in the Officers Mess at RAF Woodvale. Other occasions when the AEF team organise social events are for the departure of long standing staff members, predominantly pilots. The dining in events are formal evening events, where as leaving parties are sometimes informal and often start in the AEF itself just after the flying concludes for the day.

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