Ilminster Air Cadet flies high with the RAF


An Ilminster Air Cadet was given the once in a lifetime opportunity last month to fly with the RAF in a professional jet.

Corporal James Cullum, a cadet with 2381 (Ilminster) Squadron, Air Training Corps, had the chance to experience flight in a Hawk jet; the same aircraft used by the famous Red Arrows aerobatic display team.

James Cullum

Cpl James Cullum in front of the Hawk jet at RAF Valley

The flight took place at RAF Valley in North Wales where James along with forty other local Air Cadets were attending weekend training camp over the Easter break.

He was awarded the flight after being named as the best cadet on the camp as a result of his hard work, and positive attitude throughout the week.

During the forty minute flight he was able to experience numerous aerobatics in addition to touch and go landings. He was even able to take the controls of the aircraft, giving him a taste of what it would be like to be a RAF fast jet pilot. 

 James was absolutely thrilled to be offered such an incredible opportunity. He said: “I feel privileged to have been able to fly with the RAF. This experience will stay with me for a long time, and no roller coaster will ever match up to the thrill of flying in a Hawk’.

 The Air Training Corps is a national voluntary youth organisation, open to young men and women aged between 13 and 20. 

Flying, gliding, sports and adventure training are just a few of the activities that Air Cadets have the opportunity to participate in.

Ilminster Air Cadets are an active Squadron and they participate not only in flying and gliding but are also involved in adventure training and target shooting and archery to name but a few of the Squadron’s activities. 

For further information on joining 2381 (Ilminster) Squadron as an adult volunteer or cadet contact Flight Lieutenant Steve Penny on 07745 605213 or visit 

Reserve Forces