One of Haileybury’s RAF Cadet Corporals, 16-year-old Ed Joseph, has become one of the youngest pupils to qualify as a Glider Pilot and thus obtain his "Gold Wings".
Ed underwent an intensive course of training and testing at RAF Henlow airbase during the Easter holidays, which culminated in his taking charge of the glider for solo flights.
Explains the Combined Cadet Force (CCF) co-ordinator at Haileybury, Michael Perrins: "Cadets who undertake this training receive Blue Wings if they qualify to pilot the aircraft with an instructor sitting alongside them and Silver Wings if they manage to go solo. Very rarely do they manage to go one step further and obtain their Gold Wings.
"He is the first Haileyburian ever to achieve this feat," adds Michael.
This achievement qualifies Ed to land the aircraft in cross winds and to do high-angled turns and far more sophisticated flying.
He says he’s been passionate about flying since the age of four. He hopes to join the RAF when he leaves university, and would like to fly fast jets such as the JSF and Eurofighter Typhoon.
"The passion and excitement I feel when flying is indescribable," says Ed.