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My Flying Career - CWO Euan Gray

My flying career started back in 2002 when my parents gave me a gift voucher at Aberdeen Flying School on my 15th birthday.  This was the start of my flying career.  I then follow with another 5 lessons over a period of 18 months.  Also during the time I had applied to the Cadets for a Gliding scholarship.

I was awarded my Gliding scholarship in late December 2004. This was undertaken at RAF Kinloss.  We stayed at RAF Kinloss for 2 weeks while we were on the course.  I had previous flying experience when I arrived at RAF Kinloss which helped me complete the course in a quicker time scale.  I flew 8 hours 35 minutes of dual flying with a 35 minute ghosted solo.  A ghosted solo is when the weather was not suitable for a solo but expectable for a dual solo.

After my Gliding Scholarship I applied for my Air Cadet Flying Scholarship.  I was lucky enough to be awarded this in September 2005 which was flown at Tayside Aviation.  I spent 2 weeks in Dundee with 5 other cadets from all over the UK who were also on their Flying Scholarship.  I flew at Tayside in a Cessna 152 which I did 10 Hours of Dual flying and 2 hours of solo flying.  I managed to achieve a solo sector recce which I really enjoyed. I flew to the east of the city and over Barry Buddon on my own for 1 hour.  This was the best feeling in the world.

After my Cadet Flying scholarship I applied to a charity called The Air League.  This Organisation helps people who have an interest in flying but do not have the funds to fulfil that interest. That's where the air league comes in to it. They have scholarships of their own and have interviews for these people to see if they are the correct people to give the scholarships to.  I had to travel down to RAF College Cranwell for an interview and Aptitude test for part of the selection process to be awarded a scholarship.  In 2006 I was not successful for this scholarship.

After not getting to the next stage of The Air League selection I applied to the RAFA Flying scholarship which meant I had to return to RAF College Cranwell for another interview and test.  After wait about two weeks I heard by letter that I was once again unsuccessful at being awarded a flying scholarship.

I re-applied to The Air League at the end of 2006 and was then invited down to London to The Air Leagues Main office in March.  This invitation consisted of only an interview with members of The Air League Board.  I was lucky enough to be awarded a Scholarship by The Air League and I was able to find out who my sponsor was.  He was called Mr J. Wheater who donated money to pay for my scholarship.  I completed my scholarship again at Tayside due to the quality of flying I got when I was on my Cadet Flying scholarship.  I managed to complete my solo flight in under 4 hours and then a solo sector recce again just after 6 hours of flying.  I then got the opportunity to start Navigation flying since I had the experience and because I had completed my Cadet Pilot Navigation Course in July and MOD Machrihanish.  I got to the stage I was ready for my solo nav trip but the weather spoilt my chance and I have achieved my solo navigation trip.

From April 2002 till the present day I have tallied up a total of around 28 hours flying towards my National Private Pilots Licence.

I have just returned from Bournemouth attending an Aptitude Test with a company called CTC who help people who want a job being an airline pilot by helping them through the training but not funding the flying.  The cost today to become an Airline Pilot is around £60,000.

CWO Euan Gray