Truro College student one of 40 chosen to complete the Qualified Aerospace Instructors Course

Matthew O’Brien, Level 3 Engineering student at Truro and Penwith College, has been chosen out of 350 applicants to complete the Qualified Aerospace Instructor Course (QAIC).

Matthew, who hopes to become a pilot in the Royal Air Force upon finishing College, was eager to apply to the course, which is recognised by the Royal Air Force and acts as an incredible learning experience.

Applying as soon as he was old enough, Matthew was delighted to get through - especially as he was the only cadet chosen from Plymouth and Cornwall.  While the application process was filled with paperwork, exams and tests, Matthew was glad of the experience as it will help him when applying for the Royal Air Force.

QAIC runs for seven months, with Matthew having to travel up to Boscombe Down in Wiltshire for one weekend a month. While others would be perturbed by the long travel times, Matthew sees it as a chance to keep on top of his work, saying: “It will be hard balancing my workload from both College and QAIC but by working on the train and with help from both sides I know I can do it.”

Hopefully, Matthew’s knowledge of engineering will help him throughout QAIC. “The physics from the course can be related to QAIC as it includes very academic modules such as principles of flight and aerodynamics,” begins Matthew. “And hopefully I can take what I learn at College to QAIC and bring back knowledge from QAIC to here.”

Other modules in QAIC include a 15 minute solo presentation and a 40 minute syndicate presentation, which will be delivered to the Chief of the Royal Air Force. Matthew will also have the opportunity to experience air traffic control and flight simulators, which are superb for preparing cadets for the Royal Air Force.

After completing QAIC Matthew will be able to teach the course himself, a great way to spend a gap year gaining even more experience before joining the Royal Air Force.

Over the summer, Matthew could be seen soaring in the skies above Cornwall with the help of a solo gliding scholarship at Culdrose. “The scholarship is great”, starts Matthew. “Getting on a good thermal can mean I get up to a few thousand feet high. I’m definitely lucky to be in this end of the country as there are only two places to do this.”

While Matthew intends to continue with his gliding whenever he can, he is also interested in applying to a pilot scheme with the cadets, which would enable him to go solo in a powered air craft, another step to joining the Air Force.

In October, Matthew will be attending a ceremony where he will be chosen as the Lord Lieutenant for Cornwall’s cadet, a role held in high esteem that will see him escorting royalty as they visit the county.

It is clear to see that Matthew is completely dedicated to achieving his goal of joining the Royal Air Force as a pilot as every decision he makes and every second of his spare time is dedicated to achieving this dream.