High-flyer Dawn gets her bronze wings - just two weeks after CBE

Successful flight...Air Commodore Dawn McCafferty with her gliding instructor Flight Lieutenant Sean Link. Image: Crown copyright.
Successful flight...Air Commodore Dawn McCafferty with her gliding instructor Flight Lieutenant Sean Link. Image: Crown copyright.

A Sleaford woman is flying high after achieving her bronze flying wings - just two weeks after beingawarded an CBE for services to the RAF

Air Commodore Dawn McCafferty, Commandant of the RAF Air Cadets, won her bronze gliding wings at the flying school at RAF Syerston, near Newark recently.

Preparing for take off&Air Commodore Dawn McCafferty with her gliding instructor Flight Lieutenant Sean Link. Image: Crown copyright.

Preparing for take off&Air Commodore Dawn McCafferty with her gliding instructor Flight Lieutenant Sean Link. Image: Crown copyright.

She took to the skies with instructor Flight Lieutenant Sean Link in a two-seater Viking glider.

Winning her bronze wings - part of the RAF Air Cadets’ progressive gliding training course - has long been an aspiration and Dawn was also keen to join young cadets for their first launches.

Air Commodore McCafferty said: “It was wonderful to join young cadets at RAF Syerston and to take to the skies in pursuit of an aviation badge.

“To achieve bronze wings under the expert instruction of our Central Gliding School staff was more than I had hoped for but I don’t think I’m brave enough to go solo any time soon.

“The RAF Air Cadets prides itself on offering youngsters aged 12-19 unrivalled aviation opportunities, including the chance to fly solo in a glider at its 11 volunteer-run gliding squadrons around the UK.

“They can even to go solo in a light aircraft at Tayside Aviation in Dundee. For many, such opportunities are the start of a life-long career in aviation.”

Local cadets had the honour of being presented with their aviation badges and certificates from Air Commodore McCafferty, newly qualified with her own wings.

It’s been an exciting month for Air Commodore McCafferty as she received her CBE medal from HRH The Duke of Cambridge at Buckingham Palace just over two weeks ago, commenting on it being a ‘proud’ but ‘surreal’ moment.

As the head of the RAF Air Cadets she is responsible for 40,000 air cadets in the Air Training Corps and the Combined Cadet Force (RAF) across the UK and abroad.