A big part of being an air cadet involves having fun, making new friends, being adventurous and getting to know the community in which you live.
But there’s also many opportunities to learn new skills, build your confidence and earn yourself some useful qualifications that will hold you in good stead in later life – whatever career path you choose to take.

The academic side is a big part of being an air cadet. It’s all about getting you ready for life as an adult. We take what we do seriously and we therefore expect our air cadets to do the same. Being an Air Cadet is an important commitment for everyone.

But we’ve found that’s how our air cadets like it. Having fun is all well and good, but our cadets come here because they want to pick up new skills they wouldn’t normally have the chance to study and maybe, if they work hard, even walk away with some widely recognised exams and certificates.
Here at 346 (Tynemouth) Squadron we have a comprehensive training programme set out in easy to manage stages for you to work your way through.

All cadets take part in regular lectures and hands-on projects. You will also have the opportunity to get out and about as much as possible and put some of your training to good use.

Lectures, for obvious reasons, get harder the more senior you become. They start off with the principles of flight, aircraft knowledge and basic navigation and move on to such subjects as advanced and satellite communications. By the time you become a master cadet you will be learning exciting topics like propulsion.

Popular hands-on activities include aero modelling, band and the flight simulator.
If you stick at it, it’s possible to gain a raft of BTEC qualifications too, including a first diploma in music, which is equivalent to four GCSE’s at grade A-C, and aviation studies, which equates to one GCSE at grade A-C.
There’s also leadership training at various levels which will help build your confidence, deal with a host of situations and people and be an invaluable asset for the rest of your life.

That’s not forgetting first aid where you could gain a St John’s Ambulance certificate and, of course, the Duke of Edinburgh Award that employers everywhere recognise as a great achievement.

They’re all practical and accepted qualifications and skills that will set you apart from your peers as you head off to university or begin your chosen career.