Hartlepool cadets’ flying visit to airport

In the control tower
In the control tower

Hartlepool Air Cadets have been given a fascinating insight into the workings of a busy airport.

Ten cadets from 473 (Hartlepool) Squadron ATC were invited to take a behind-the-scenes tour of Durham Tees Valley Airpot and learn about the many jobs and roles involved in keeping it running.

Trying out the fire fighting kit

Trying out the fire fighting kit

The visit was hosted by the airport’s own Fire Section, and the cadets were able to spend time with the air traffic controllers in the tower who control all aircraft within a 40mile radius of the airport.

They were able to watch the controllers working with live aircraft from both the top of the control tower and the radar centre deep underground.

They also met the ground operations crews who refuel, service and check that the aircraft are ready for every flight, and inspect the wide variety of vehicle they use.

The cadets even heard from the airport’s wildlife control officers about the many types of wildlife present within the perimeter from deer, foxes and rabbits to the various species of birds inhabit the airport and how they carry out their vitally important task of ensuring the wildlife and aircraft never meet.

This was a fantastic opportunity for our cadets to be hands on and look at the many possible career options available commonly within both civil and military aviation, apart from the obvious flying roles.

Flying Officer Deborah Fairbotham

Finally the cadets were invited to try out the fire sections impressive array of kit and equipment and experience the view from the hot seat at the controls of the foam and water cannons atop the airports massive Oshkosh 6x6 Fire Engines.

“This was a fantastic opportunity for our cadets to be hands on and look at the many possible career options available commonly within both civil and military aviation, apart from the obvious flying roles,” said unit commander Flying Officer Deborah Fairbotham.

“Being able to really speak to the people doing these jobs on a daily basis, giving a really down-to-earth and practical explanation, whilst sharing their ‘real world’ experiences helps build an understanding the children can really relate to.

“For a local business to engage with the cadets in such a hands-on and friendly manner is a real credit to the airport and its staff, whilst the number of searching questions and considered conversations from the cadets since their return to the squadron, only goes to show the positive impact our time at the airport has made on their view of potential career options once they leave full time education”

Testing the breathing apparatus

Testing the breathing apparatus

Hartlepool Air Cadets meet every Tuesday and Thursday evening between 6.30pm and 9.30pm at the Easington Road Army Reserve Centre and is open to anyone aged between 12 and 18-years-old.

For further info visit hartlepoolaircadets.co.uk or email 473@aircadets.org.

Behind the wheel of the fire appliance

Behind the wheel of the fire appliance

Checking out the fuel tender

Checking out the fuel tender