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Dream flight for cadet Alex

PUBLISHED: 18:56 02 July 2008 | UPDATED: 14:35 14 July 2010

Alex Thorpe on his dream Tornado flight.

Alex Thorpe on his dream Tornado flight.

GREAT Ellingham air cadet Alex Thorpe enjoyed the flight of a lifetime in a Tornado GR4 from RAF Marham.

Alex, 16, a Flight Sgt of Watton ATC, won the best in squadron award to claim his flight.

GREAT Ellingham air cadet Alex Thorpe enjoyed the flight of a lifetime in a Tornado GR4 from RAF Marham.

Alex, 16, a Flight Sgt of Watton ATC, won the best in squadron award to claim his flight.

He said: “On the way to RAF Marham there was a recruiting advert on the radio for the Royal Air Force. It said you do not have to be a pilot in the RAF to fly. They are right; just join Watton air cadets!”

In 2005, an association was formed between II (AC) Squadron RAF, the oldest and finest fixed-wing flying squadron in the world, and 864 (Watton) Sqn ATC. Since then, there have been many benefits for the air cadets from Watton, ranging from work experience with aircrew and engineers to aviation-related visits and the opportunity to assist at major events. However, the major prize on offer each year is the opportunity for the best cadet from Watton to fly in a Tornado fast jet.

Alex took off from RAF Marham in perfect weather and was over Wales in quick time. With his pilot, Sqn Ldr Bagnall at the controls, Alex had plenty of time to explore the Welsh valleys at 500 knots before returning to the ranges in the Wash to drop a practice bomb and then back to RAF Marham, having flown over his old school and home.

Alex added: “It was a fantastic flight and it was great that I had things to do in the back.”

His pilot said: “Alex was a very capable passenger, pick-ing up systems use very quickly. This made my job much easier.”

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