A teenage air cadet was among the best of the best at an RAF summer camp and his top gun status allowed him to fly a real jet fighter.
Corporal Andrew Macleod (14) was one of four 470 (Falkirk) Squadron air cadets invited to ATC training camps at RAF Valley on the island of Anglesey in North Wales.
After enjoying a week of weapons training, target shooting, a high ropes adventure, bowling and go-karting, the Braes High School pupil was voted Best Cadet in Camp and earned the right to take control of a BAE Hawk T2.
Pre-operational fighter pilots come to RAF Valley to learn the art of aerial combat and how to carry out tactical air warfare.
That is just what Andrew did when he donned his helmet, oxygen mask and flying suit and climbed aboard the Hawk fighter.
He said: “When they told me I had been chosen for this flight, I was totally blown away. This experience is one I will never forget - the feeling of being in control of my life as the pilot was amazing but also a bit scary.
“I had a lot of emotions while I was in control of the aircraft, mainly excitement. I’ve gained so much experience and done so much in my time with the air cadets that will help me with my future career.”
Feet back on the ground, Andrew plans to apply to Welbeck Defence Sixth Form College next year to progress towards a commission in the RAF.
Andrew’s fellow cadets may not have gone supersonic above the clouds but they had a pretty successful camp too - Cadet Warrant Officer Declan Kerr was in charge of a number of cadets and his group won the Best Flight prize, while Corporal Morgan Hardy and Cadet Evan Rowles gained marksmen badges for their deadeye shooting prowess.
Falkirk air cadets is always looking for new members age 13 to 17 and for adult volunteers.
Visit www.470aircadets.org for more information.