RAF Brize Norton and RAF Benevolent Fund offer flight experience for youngsters
RAF Brize Norton are offering families a unique flight simulator experience as part of a scheme called UPLIFT, in conjunction with the RAF Benevolent Fund, the RAF’s leading welfare charity.
XXIV Squadron, based at RAF Brize Norton, recently hosted the Cavill family from Lincolnshire as part of the scheme, which offers families who have experienced hardship a day to remember by providing an unforgettable and rewarding air encounter.
Graham, an ex Tristar fleet engineer and Rachel Cavill, ex RAF cabin crew, attended with their sons Reece (13) and Bradley (10). The boys conducted air to air refuelling with a Voyager, flew in close formation with an A400 and operated the Hercules in the Nevada desert at low level.
Graham was medically discharged in 2012 after an accident during engineering work which left him with long term injuries. The RAF Benevolent Fund has supported the Cavill family by sourcing and purchasing a property under the Fund’s Housing Trust, which the family moved into in 2013.
Talking about the Sim experience, Graham said: "It was amazing to be ‘in the air’ with the family. It was something that money cannot buy and we feel privileged to be given this opportunity. Thank you to XXIV Squadron for this opportunity, and also to the RAF Benevolent Fund for all the support they have provided over the years."
Reece, who is a new member of the Air Cadets commented, "I hope that I have done enough to get my cadet flying badge. This was such a cool experience."
Sqn Ldr Jim Roden of XXIV Sqn, and founder of UPLIFT, commented: "It was a real pleasure to host such a lovely and enthusiastic family. I was very impressed with the flying talent on display! We have been working really hard to get the initiative off the ground and would urge anyone who can help expand this amazing activity to other RAF simulators and even live flying to get in touch."