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An Air Experience Flight is a training unit of the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve whose main purpose is to give introductory flying experience to Air Cadets or the RAF section of the Combined Cadet Force.


There are twelve of these flights as of September 2004, in all parts of Britain. They were formed on 8 September 1958 (one was added a month later) and flew the De Havilland Chipmunk trainer. They are now flying the Grob Tutor. AEFs are now parented by University Air Squadrons.

February 2009 air collision incident

At approximately 11:00 AM on the 11th of February 2009 two Tutors from 1 AEF, RAF St. Athan, collided in mid air over Kenfig Nature Reserve, Porthcawl killing both crews.[1] The two ATC Cadet passengers were cousins and were named as Katie Jo Davies, 14, and Nikitta Walters, 13, and the RAF pilots were named as Flying Officer Hylton Price and Flight Lieutenant Andrew Marsh.[2]

June 2009 air collision incident

At approximately hi 2.30pm[3] on Sunday, 14 June 2009, an RAF Grob Tutor and a civilian Standard Cirrus glider collided above Sutton Courtenay, Oxfordshire.[4][5]

A Combined Cadet Force cadet, 15 year old Nicholas Rice, and the 62 year old Flight Lieutenant Michael Blee,[6] died after their plane, the Grob Tutor, crashed. Nicholas Rice was a student of the Elvian School in Reading, and was from Calcot, Reading, Berkshire, Berkshire.[5] Flight Lieutenant Blee was a retired Wing Commander with 38 years' service in the RAF before becoming a Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve Officer at 6 Air Experience Flight in 2005, where he assumed the rank of Flight Lieutenant.[7] The two-seater Grob Tutor, took off from RAF Benson in Oxfordshire.[8]

The pilot of the glider, Henry Freeborn, from Lee-on-the-Solent in Hampshire, parachuted to safety and survived.[5] The glider was registered to Mark Holden, who lives in Locks Heath, Southampton. However, he was not involved in the incident.[9]

Aircraft operated

Current AEFs


  1. "Four die in mid-air collision in Britain". iol. 2009-02-11. Retrieved 2009-02-19. 
  2. Williams, Rachel (2009-02-12). "Police name teenage cousins killed in mid-air plane crash". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 2009-02-19. 
  3. "Two killed in RAF plane crash". June 14, 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-16. 
  4. "RAF crew dead after mid-air crash". BBC. 14 June 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-16. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 "Teenage plane crash victim named". BBC. 16 June 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-16. 
  6. Stretch, Euan (16/06/2009). "Victims of RAF trainer plane crash are named". Retrieved 2009-06-16. 
  7. "Flight Lieutenant Mike Blee and Cadet Nicholas Langley-Rice killed in RAF aircraft crash". 16 June 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-16. 
  8. "Mid-air crash victim pilot is named". Metro. June 14, 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-16. 
  9. "RAF Aircraft Smash With Glider Kills Two". June 15, 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-16. 

External links

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