Formed in 1941, the Air Training Corps (ATC) is a national youth organisation that promotes a practical interest in aviation for 13–20 year-olds, offering youngsters the chance to take to the skies and partake in a wide range of adventurous pursuits.
The ATC is sponsored by the Royal Air Force (RAF) and has over 60 squadrons in the Highlands. Its ethos is to enable youngsters with high-flying aspirations to partake in various exciting aviation courses and community-based activities.
Upon joining a local ATC unit, the Gliding Induction Course teaches air cadets all about aerodynamics and controlling light aircraft such as Vigilant motor gliders. Following on from this, there is the opportunity to gain Gliding Scholarship Wings, which offer a more in-depth study of aviation as well as more flight time. Air cadets also get the unique chance to experience the exhilaration of flight on-board a Grob Turbo, or even an in-service RAF aircraft such as the Hawk fast-jet or a Chinook helicopter.
As well as acquiring flight knowledge and experience, air cadets develop valuable personal skills such as leadership and good citizenship. An array of adventure training activities are also on offer – ranging from mountaineering to quad biking and canoeing.