Cornwall’s Lord Lieutenant honours Cadets’ inspiring flying instructor

07.11.2017

As a retired civilian pilot whose career included flying Concorde, Alan Quartly could hardly be more qualified to provide inspirational leadership to Cornwall’s Air Cadets.

One of his principal roles is Detachment Commander of 6 Flying Training School, RAF St Mawgan, where cadets are introduced to flying twice a year through the Air Experience Flight (AEF) programme.

“This involved 400 youngsters this summer, which, as it represents one-third of the Plymouth and Cornwall Wing, is very satisfying,” he said.

His responsibilities extend to organising up to four aircraft and their pilots, as well as accommodation, supplies and engineering support.

Alan, who lives in St Mawgan, has been honoured with the award of the Lord-Lieutenant’s Certificate for Meritorious Service.

He was himself introduced to flying as an ACF cadet in the 1960s before joining the RAF, followed by a long career in civil aviation. In addition to his work at the Flying Training School, he also finds time to teach pilot and air navigation skills to cadets at 781 (Newquay) Squadron.

The presentation by Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant, Colonel Edward Bolitho OBE, took place during ceremonies at the Great Hall, Truro. Others to receive Certificates of Meritorious Service were:

  • Sub Lieutenant Jeanette Cooper, whose drive and leadership has been instrumental in establishing a new Sea Cadet Corps unit at HMS Raleigh, Torpoint. She took responsibility for staff recruitment, administration and promotional efforts to attract the cadets themselves. She has been a member of the Sea Cadets for 32 years and is also active within the Police Cadets, as a serving Police Community Support Officer.
  • Lieutenant Sophie Helliker, of Inkerman Company, Cornwall Army Cadet Force, for her achievements and selfless commitment. A former cadet, she became an adult instructor in 2009 and now runs a successful platoon in Lostwithiel which has grown from strength to strength since her appointment.
  • Company Sergeant Major Instructor Christopher Metcalf, for his efforts and achievements over nine years with Gibraltar Company, Cornwall ACF, including an outstanding contribution to recruiting cadets to the Falmouth Platoon. He has arranged for the cadets to attend scuba diving courses, take helicopter flights from RNAS Culdrose along with other activities.
  • Squadron Leader Robert King (RAF, Retd), for his hard work and selfless commitment to Plymouth & Cornwall Wing of the ATC, and particularly No 3 Flying Training School, Air Experience Flight. The former RAF Sea King pilot retrained on fixed wing aircraft and flew hundreds of cadets until his 65th birthday and has since trained more than 5,000 cadets for flight every day during Easter and summer holidays.
  • Flight Lieutenant Karla Oliver, whose strong leadership as Officer Commanding 1387 (Liskeard) Squadron has transformed it from a detachment to a Squadron with more than 35 cadets and eight adults. This year she also led and managed the 100-plus cadets and staff of the Plymouth & Cornwall Wing’s Ten Tors Challenge over five months’ training, entering seven teams. Karla has a demanding job as a supply chain executive for a retail chain.

As a retired civilian pilot whose career included flying Concorde, Alan Quartly could hardly be more qualified to provide inspirational leadership to Cornwall’s Air Cadets.

One of his principal roles is Detachment Commander of 6 Flying Training School, RAF St Mawgan, where cadets are introduced to flying twice a year through the Air Experience Flight (AEF) programme.

“This involved 400 youngsters this summer, which, as it represents one-third of the Plymouth and Cornwall Wing, is very satisfying,” he said.

His responsibilities extend to organising up to four aircraft and their pilots, as well as accommodation, supplies and engineering support.

Alan, who lives in St Mawgan, has been honoured with the award of the Lord-Lieutenant’s Certificate for Meritorious Service.

He was himself introduced to flying as an ACF cadet in the 1960s before joining the RAF, followed by a long career in civil aviation. In addition to his work at the Flying Training School, he also finds time to teach pilot and air navigation skills to cadets at 781 (Newquay) Squadron.

The presentation by Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant, Colonel Edward Bolitho OBE, took place during ceremonies at the Great Hall, Truro. Others to receive Certificates of Meritorious Service were:

  • Sub Lieutenant Jeanette Cooper, whose drive and leadership has been instrumental in establishing a new Sea Cadet Corps unit at HMS Raleigh, Torpoint. She took responsibility for staff recruitment, administration and promotional efforts to attract the cadets themselves. She has been a member of the Sea Cadets for 32 years and is also active within the Police Cadets, as a serving Police Community Support Officer.
  • Lieutenant Sophie Helliker, of Inkerman Company, Cornwall Army Cadet Force, for her achievements and selfless commitment. A former cadet, she became an adult instructor in 2009 and now runs a successful platoon in Lostwithiel which has grown from strength to strength since her appointment.
  • Company Sergeant Major Instructor Christopher Metcalf, for his efforts and achievements over nine years with Gibraltar Company, Cornwall ACF, including an outstanding contribution to recruiting cadets to the Falmouth Platoon. He has arranged for the cadets to attend scuba diving courses, take helicopter flights from RNAS Culdrose along with other activities.
  • Squadron Leader Robert King (RAF, Retd), for his hard work and selfless commitment to Plymouth & Cornwall Wing of the ATC, and particularly No 3 Flying Training School, Air Experience Flight. The former RAF Sea King pilot retrained on fixed wing aircraft and flew hundreds of cadets until his 65th birthday and has since trained more than 5,000 cadets for flight every day during Easter and summer holidays.
  • Flight Lieutenant Karla Oliver, whose strong leadership as Officer Commanding 1387 (Liskeard) Squadron has transformed it from a detachment to a Squadron with more than 35 cadets and eight adults. This year she also led and managed the 100-plus cadets and staff of the Plymouth & Cornwall Wing’s Ten Tors Challenge over five months’ training, entering seven teams. Karla has a demanding job as a supply chain executive for a retail chain.


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