Cadet Corporal Steven Mason from 487 (Kingstanding and Perry Barr), Air cadets, - who was born with cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair - was invited by headquarters Air Cadets to the Central Gliding School RAF Syerston on the 13th December 2005 to be presented with his gold wings by the British astronaut Dr Mike Foale. Also in attendance was the AOC Air Cadets, Air Commodore Harrison.
Steven was also invited for a winch launch flight in a Viking glider, which is something that he had always wanted to do. Following the flight Cpl Mason was invited to eat lunch with Commander Foale, who told Steven some amazing stories of his time in space.
Steven said "It is a day I will never forget".
Steven is a inspiration and has shown us all having a disability is no reason not to forfill your dreams. He has also shown that the air cadets is open to everyone and would like to thank Flt Lt Mumford, the CO of 487 Sqn, for taking
Cadets from 487 Squadron and it's Detached Flight, spent the day packing bags for shoppers at Great Bridge's Asda Supermarket. The aim of the event was to raise money to purchase much needed replacments for the Squadron's Adventure Training equipment. The equipment is there to ensure that any cadet can take part in the multitude of adventure training activities - including the Duke of Edinburgh's Award Scheme - undertaken by the Squadron
The event raised £1024
Cdt Cpl Steven Mason of 487 (Kingstanding & Perry Barr ) Sqn has successfully completed his Advanced Gliding Training (AGT) Course at 637 Volunteer Gliding Squadron, Little Rissington, despite the fact that Steven suffers from cerebral palsy and spends some of his time in a wheelchair.
Steven's medical details were sent to the Command Flight Medical Officer who passed him fit to fly as long as he could safely exit the aircraft in any emergency situation. His instructor was happy that Steven had enough mobility to achieve that and this opened the door to his initial Gliding Scholarship (GS) Course which then led to the AGT course this autumn.
Steven remarked that he really enjoyed the course "It was not only the flying" he said "It was all the other jobs I got involved in and it was just being part of the squadron" He also said that he enjoyed meeting all the other Gliding Induction Course (GIC) cadets and GS cadets that visited 637 VGS whilst he was there.
Steven completed five solo flights in the Vigilant motor glider to gain his gold wings. His last flight was towards the end of the day and was most memorable as the sun was just setting, however it was flown with mixed feelings as he knew it was the completion of his course.
Steven's message to all cadets is: "Go for it and make use of all the facilities on offer!" His determination has enabled him to realise a remarkable achievement.