Taking to the sky

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FLYING HIGH… Cadet sergeant Chloe Schwarz and leading cadet Gus Thiel training on the flight simulator at the Somme Barracks in Shepparton. Photo: Danielle Cox

IF your child has been dreaming of flying a plane or even building aircrafts but thought it was too difficult, now is the perfect time to make their dream come true. With the Australian Air Force Cadets (AAFC) 419 Squadron based right here in Shepparton, it gives local kids the opportunity to take to the skies, and provides training and pathways into aviation and the Air Force.

The AAFC is a youth oriented organisation that is administered and actively supported by the Royal Australian Air Force. The AAFC will teach valuable life skills and will help develop qualities such as leadership, confidence, teamwork and communication.

Some activities undertaken by the AAFC include flying, fieldcraft, adventure training, firearms safety training, drill and ceremonial, service knowledge, aeromodelling, navigation and gliding. Next year will see the inclusion of drones and the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) program as well.

Cadent sergeant, Chloe Schwarz has already been up in the air and flown solo at 17 years of age and with only 10 hours of flight training needed.

“I was able to get a scholarship through the Air Force which allowed me to fly.” Chloe said.

“As a cadet, I’ve been able to also visit Air Force bases across the state and I’m hoping to pursue a career in aviation.”

Leading cadet, Gus Thiel has wanted to join the AAFC for most of his life.

“It gives me a pathway into the Air Force without having to go and study elsewhere.”

The AAFC 419 Squadron will open the gates this Friday, August 30 from 6:30pm until 8:30pm at the Somme Barracks, 110 Sobraon Street, Shepparton for an information night. Both parents and kids aged 12 to 15 interested in becoming a cadet or wanting to know more about what is involved are encouraged to head down and find out what’s on offer. Alternatively, head to www.aafc.gov.au for more information.