TOM Cruise might be inspiring a new generation of fighter pilots in Top Gun Maverick, but for some the passion took flight long ago.
Public Services students from Priestley College – many of whom have been focussed on joining the Armed Forces for years – experienced sitting in the cockpit of a Harrier Jump Jet during a recent trip to RAF Wittering.
Their need for speed might not have been satisfied – the jet remained grounded throughout – but their curiosity about life in the RAF certainly was.
“It was amazing just to see what the RAF pilots must take care of to fly the jet,” said former Sir Thomas Boteler pupil Tyler Burden.
“It definitely takes a lot of skill and confidence and this was the highlight of the trip for me although I thoroughly enjoyed all of it.”
Priestley College’s Public Services course prepares students for careers ranging from the police to the Army and Navy.
During the trip to RAF Wittering they gained an insight into what a career in the air force might entail after questioning various personnel and meeting police, engineers, aircraft technicians and physical training instructors working for the air force.
Tyler was already considering joining the police before meeting a former Priestley student who is now an RAF police officer.
“I am looking more into a role within the RAF than before with all the benefits and amazing opportunities that come with that,” he said.