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High flier ready to earn her wings

A newly-qualified Royal Air Force officer from Balsall Common is flying high after graduating from a prestigious military college in front of Her Majesty The Queen.

A newly-qualified Royal Air Force officer from Balsall Common is flying high after graduating from a prestigious military college in front of Her Majesty The Queen.

Sam Lewis, aged 18, from No 14 Initial Officer Training Course graduated as an Acting Pilot Officer from the Officer and Aircrew Cadet Training Unit at RAF Cranwell, near Sleaford in Lincolnshire.

Sam joined 147 other cadets outside the historic College Hall to parade in front of HM The Queen, His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh and the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Glenn Torpy.

Music on the day was provided by the Band of the RAF Regiment and there were flypasts by the Red Arrows and by four Typhoon aircraft from No 11 Squadron, RAF Coningsby.

Sam, whose parents Stephen and Denise live at Balsall Common, attended Heart of England School before joining the RAF in October last year. Now she has graduated as an officer she will soon begin training as a pilot.

“It’s been hard work but a lot of fun,” she said, “and now I’m looking forward to starting Phase 2 Training and getting near an aircraft!”

Sam is a former member of 496 (Balsall Common) Squadron Air Training Corps and was Head Girl at Heart of England School from 2007-2008. A keen sportswoman, she enjoys football, netball and walking.

 

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