Gold Wings for Bailey, 16

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A 16-year-old air cadet from Long Eaton has gained one of the Air Cadet’s highest gliding awards less than a year after his first glider flight.

Cadet Flight Sergeant Bailey Wright, from l2195 (Long Eaton) Squadron, was awarded his Gold Gliding Wings by Air Vice Marshall Mike Lloyd, the Air Officer commanding 22 Group RAF.

It followed a three day Advanced Gliding Training (AGT) course at The Royal Air Force Central Gliding School, RAF Syerston.

To add to this, the day after his award, Bailey went on to gain the higher Award of AGT 2 after completing two “soaring flights” lasting 37 and 55 minutes.

Bailey’s flying instructor, Flight Lieutenant Heeral Poria, said: “This was a very impressive duration given his experience level.”

His achievements are said to be all the more remarkable as Bailey first stepped into a glider in August last year after gaining a gliding bursary following stiff competition from other Midlands cadets. After this initial gliding training, Bailey qualified for his Silver Gliding Wings.

Bailey, a pupil at Long Eaton School sixth form, said: “I feel a real sense of achievement and am eager to go further. None of this would have been available to me if I hadn’t become a cadet. And it was all free.”

In January Bailey was given a place as a Flight Cadet at 644 Volunteer Gliding School (VGS) where Air Cadets receive basic gliding training. By March he had become the chief flight staff cadet at the VGS and in April was named “Best Flight Cadet”.

Gliding is not the only Air Cadet activity that the young flight sergeant excels in. He has gained his Bronze Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, completed the gruelling Nijmegen March (100 miles marched in four days) as well as other road marching competitions. He was also the Mayor of Erewash’s Cadet in 2012.

Anyone between the ages of 13 and 17 who wish to join the organisation can log on to aircadets.org