Cadet’s flying high after earning his wings through scholarship

Longbenton air cadet Alex McGowan proudly shows off his wings. Picture by Flight Sergeant Nathan Horner.
Longbenton air cadet Alex McGowan proudly shows off his wings. Picture by Flight Sergeant Nathan Horner.

A high-flying air cadet is on cloud nine after earning his wings.

Longbenton High School student Alex McGowan completed the flying course after landing a prestigious scholarship.

To qualify for the fully-sponsored training, the 17-year-old had to undergo a tough selection day that tested his aptitude, knowledge and skills.

He then went to Dundee to gain his flying wings with Tayside Aviation.

He said: “The course was the best two weeks of my life.

“The instructors focussed on the areas I needed to improve, which helped to increase my confidence. However, when I flew my first sortie alone I was really nervous.

“The pilot told me to hold the aircraft on the taxi-way, and he got out saying, ‘good luck in your solo flight, don’t break the aeroplane, they’re expensive’.

“I just went for it as I had been waiting for this moment since arriving there. It was an incredible feeling from start to finish.

“It is by far the best experience I have had, and I thank the air cadets for that.”

The teenager is a member of 2344 Longbenton Squadron. Flight lieutenant Gary Richardson said: “We are all extremely proud of Alex’ achievement.”

The squadron is open to new members from Year 8 and above. Visit www.2344.org.uk