Back in the 70's, that dates me, I was an enthusiastic member of The Air Training Corps. Indeed that was where I first came across the Chipmunk.

After a few memorable flights from 12 Air Experience Flight at RAF Turnhouse, as well as at various summer camps, I knew I wanted to do more flying.

One way of achieving this was to become a "Flight Staff Cadet" on an Air Experience Flight. If I remember correctly there were certain criteria that had to be met before your Air Cadet Squadron Commander (in my case Flt Lt Gerry Hegarty of 2463 Currie and Balerno Squadron) could recommend you to Wing Headquarters for such a position. As soon as I'd met them (along the lines of senior NCO, Staff Cadet and a certain amount of flying experience) I badgered my CO to put me forward for such a position.

And so it was that I was appointed to be a Flight Staff Cadet at No 12 Air Experience Flight, RAF Turnhouse, Edinburgh, which was then under the command of Sqn Ldr J R "Jock" Ritchie AFC.

There followed a couple of very happy years where I spent almost every weekend at the AEF, and any time during the week that I could as well.

The role of the AEF Staff Cadet was essentially that of helping to ensure the AEF ran as efficiently as possible. We helped brief cadets prior to them flying, fitted them into their safety equipment, did the "running changes" where cadets were swopped over between flights without the pilots having to stop their engines, made the lunch :-), went on weekends away when 12 AEF re-located up to Lossiemouth to fly Highland Wing Cadets and just generally assisted "The Boss" on keeping everything running smoothly.

As a reward for the work put in, if there were any spare flying slots at the end of the day the Flight Staff Cadets would fill them. Whilst working at 12 AEF I was lucky enough to fly over 40 times in the Chipmunk, including cross country flights up to Lossie and many, many, many loops, rolls, stall turns etc.

Wonderfull times.

Below is a selection of photo's taken at 12 AEF during the time I was there (late '70's). Happy memories.

Click on a thumbnail below to enlarge the image and for a short description of the photo.

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