A former Australian Air Force Cadet (AAFC) has helped deliver the first of eight Diamond DA40 NG aircraft that are set to revolutionise the youth organisation.
Aircraft one was ferried from Linz in Austria to Avalon Airport in Victoria via a 36SQN C-17A Globemaster in February, to be showcased at the Australian International Airshow 2019.
FLTLT Ben Skuce is a former Cadet who captained the C-17A mission to bring the first Diamond home and said his love of flying stemmed from his time in the AAFC, as well as from his family.
“This new aircraft is an exciting new addition to Cadets,” FLTLT Skuce said.
“We called aircraft one a ‘babushka doll” as we picked it up in a box - it was a plane inside a plane!”
The Diamond DA40 NG has four seats and a turbocharged 170 hp Austro AE300 piston engine that can be powered by jet fuel.
GPCAPT Chris Wheaton, Director Logistics Capability - Cadets Branch, said three Diamond aircraft will be delivered to Richmond, three to Amberley, and two in Point Cook by the close of the 2019 financial year.
“The aircraft are on a dry lease from Airflite, will be CASA-registered and AAFC branded,” GPCAPT Wheaton said.
“Their new homes near Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane ensure they can be utilised by the largest number of Cadets – currently 70 percent of the 7,500 live nearby.
“AAFC is a youth movement encouraging future careers in Australian aviation.
“Cadets can expect to go on their first flight in year one of joining.”
Second year cadets will receive a pilot experience flight taught by AAFC qualified flying instructors, and in their third year, if selected, they could do intensive pilot training, potentially up to their first solo in the Diamond DA40 NG.
“Many instructors are currently Reservists or civil aviators who want to give back to the community,” GPCAPT Wheaton said.
“We are hopeful that this new aircraft will encourage even more to volunteer their time on weekends or during school holidays to inspire the next generation.”