Honiton Air Cadets see historic flypast

PUBLISHED: 10:42 27 April 2019

Flt Lt Nathan Shawyer (centre) with Honiton Air Cadets.  picture RAFAC

Flt Lt Nathan Shawyer (centre) with Honiton Air Cadets. picture RAFAC

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Members of 1064 Squadron were invited to join farewell celebrations for the Tornado aircraft

Air Cadets from 1064 Squadron in Honiton got a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be part of an historic event when they visited RAF Marham.

Former Honiton cadet Flt Lt Nathan Shawyer invited them to visit the base in Norfolk and join in the Tornado aircraft farewell flypast celebrations.

The RAF Tornado was withdrawn from service on March 31. This marked the end of more than 28 years of almost continual operational deployment for the jet fighter.

Flt Lt Shawyer left Honiton Air Cadets in August 2009 to join the RAF where he graduated from RAF Valley. He then flew the Tornado GR4 at RAF Lossiemouth. After that he moved to 31 Squadron at RAF Marham where he was involved with operations over Syria, Iraq and flew in the farewell flypast celebrations.

Flt Lt Shawyer was the last pilot to qualify on Tornado.

He said: “I wasn't born when the Tornado first entered service with the RAF. It will be a sad day for all of us when the Tornado shuts down its engines for the last time.”

The Honiton cadets were taken on a personal behind-the-scenes tour of the base by Flt Lt Nathan Shawyer and they were greeted by the station commander Group Captain Ian Townsend who welcomed them to the camp.

Cadet Sergeant Josie Mabbutt said: “it was brilliant we watched as the Tornados left their hangars and embarked on their flypast. Later we watched them arrive back and flew right over our heads.”

Cadet Sergeant Nathaniel Pegg added: “What a fantastic day. We had the opportunity to sit in the cockpit of this amazing aircraft and get up close and personal - what a privilege.”

Flt Lt Justin Felice RAFAC Commanding Officer 1064 Honiton Squadron said: “We are extremely thankful to have Flt Lt Shawyer as a friend of the Squadron. He understands the integral part that the air cadets played in his journey, how this shaped his career and how it inspired him to join the RAF.”

* Every year nearly 56,000 air cadets and volunteer staff take part in exciting events all over the country. And with more than 1,000 squadrons across the UK, it is easy to join.

For further information about Honiton Air Cadets email 1064@aircadets.org or phone 01404 43286 (Tuesday and Thursday evenings only, between 7.30pm and 9.30pm).

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