Up up and away at Abingdon

Pilots from 612 Volunteer Gliding Squadron at Abingdon, along with Air Cadets from across Thames Valley, have notched up an amazing number of glider launches in a single day as part of their dawn to dusk flying challenge.

Known as “The Longest Day”, the aim was to fly as many Air Cadets as possible throughout the day and to have great fun in the process. The 2009 figure of 86 cadets flown was easily broken with 156 individuals taking to the skies. Amongst those flown as part of this event was the Mayor of Abingdon, Councillor Duncan Brown (pictured above before his flight).

An achievement such as this required great commitment from all concerned, including the pilots, staff and cadets who camped overnight so as to allow flying to commence at dawn; the maintenance teams for keeping the gliders in tiptop condition; and the flying control teams who ensured that the whole event was conducted safely.

Commanding Officer of 612 VGS, Squadron Leader Peter Mockeridge said, “This was a truly amazing day’s flying and it is so rewarding to have smashed the 2009 record. I am extremely grateful to all my staff for their commitment to the day and I would also like to thank Thames Valley Wing for supplying so many staff and cadets. The only problem now is that we have a big target to beat in 2011!”

The day concluded with a much needed BBQ where everyone could relax and celebrate in true aviation style.