Benalla and Mansfield Cadets from 420 Squadron Australian Air Force Cadets were given the opportunity to experience the world of ballooning recently when a visit from the Royal Australian Air Force Balloon allowed them to participate in the preparation of the RAAF Balloon for flight, as part of their aviation training.
The RAAF operates two balloons, which travel Australia attending displays and schools highlighting the Air Forces service to the public as part of this defence program.
In this age of super-fast aircraft and the ability to move massive loads in huge transport planes, the chance to set up one of the oldest forms of flying was something that these cadets had never experienced before.
After an initial safety brief from the crew the cadets then assisted in the assembly of the balloon.
Once inflated the cadets were permitted to enter the main envelope of the craft to see the inner workings of the balloon itself and the construction of these incredible, graceful craft.
For those interested the Australian Air Force Cadets or AAFC is a youth development organisation dedicated to training 13 to 18-year-olds in a military-type environment.
Our aim is to develop leadership, confidence, teamwork, self-reliance, communication and to foster a sense of community in young people.
●More information can be found at www.aafc.org.au
— Shane Nedeljkovic, Leading Aircraftsman (AAFC)