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RAF Junior Rank Scholarship Takes Flight

200 members of the RAF Junior Ranks have applied for one of 30 flying scholarships funded by the RAF Charitable Trust and operated by the RAF Flying Clubs' Association (RAFFCA).

The potential scholars, all of whom must be under 25 years old, could have the opportunity to undertake 15 hours' flying training on a light aircraft.

The scholarship also enables successful applicants to learn about Air Law, Meteorology and Navigation, helping them go from zero flight experience to flying an aircraft solo as pilot in command.

All necessary equipment to undertake the training at selected RAF flying clubs will also be provided through the scholarship, including flying suits and study packs.

Following a recognised syllabus, the training may count towards the award of a Light Aircraft Pilot Licence.

To apply, Junior Ranks had a two-month window to complete a lengthy online application detailing their knowledge of, and passion for aviation.

Project Officer Ben Durham said: "We have been overwhelmed with the number of applications for the 2019 scheme. It's great that so many young people have a passion for aviation that they want to pursue, although it does make the selection process more difficult!"

Last year - the year of the RAF's centenary - the scheme celebrated its 100th Scholar, SAC Seb Ayling achieving solo flight.

Seb said: "The JRPSS has been a life-changing experience for me - I cannot thank the RAF Charitable Trust enough. The feeling of being in the air is nothing like I have ever experienced and being the '100th Solo' in the RAF's centenary year was the icing on the cake".

The Trust's mission is to promote the Royal Air Force, support its people now and into the future and encourage air-mindedness and the aviation-related education of youth.

Director of the Trust Justine Morton said: "The scheme is an initiative run by the RAFFCA that embodies our mission to get young people interested and involved in aviation.

"The Trust recognises that although JRs operate in an environment surrounded by aviation, there is little opportunity for them to actually get into the air. Not only does the JRPSS provide them with the support they need to get airborne, but it also ignites desire and enthusiasm for personnel to learn more about aviation".

The thirty successful applicants will be notified in March, before shortly beginning their training at their nearest RAF flying club.

Upon completion of the scholarship, candidates can also apply to the prestigious JRPSS Top-Up-Scheme which provides additional funding for a select number of applicants to continue their flying training and gain their Private Pilot's Licence.

For information on next year's scholarship, visit www.jrfly.co.uk.