Click here for JRPSS 2019 winner list

The RAF Charitable Trust Junior Rank Pilot Scholarship Scheme 2019

In association with the RAF Flying Clubs’ Association (RAFFCA), the Trustees of the RAF Charitable Trust (RAFCT) are delighted to have awarded a further 30 Flying Scholarships to serving RAF Regular and Reserve Junior Ranks. Since the Scheme was first introduced in 2016, a total of 132 scholarships have been presented and the 2019 Junior Rank Pilot Scholarship Scheme (JRPSS) will be delivered during the period 1 April 19 to 30 Aug 19 at selected RAF Flying Clubs. Some of the Scholarship winners may be awarded a further Top-Up Grant, allowing them to achieve a full Light Aircraft Pilot Licence (LAPL).

For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return

Leonardo Da Vinci

The training will comprise of 15 hours flying training on a light aircraft as well as ground study and examinations in core subjects such as Air Law, Meteorology and Navigation. Following a recognised syllabus, the training may count towards the award of a Light Aircraft Pilot Licence (LAPL). Selected RAF Flying Clubs will deliver the flying training on behalf of the RAFCT and applicants should note that, if successful, they may be allocated to a club that is some distance from their home stn. Training study packs, supporting documentation and apparel will be provided to Scholarship winners. Upon successful completion of their flying scholarship, those JRs wishing to do so will be invited to apply for the JRPSS Top-Up-Scheme (TUS). Also funded by the RAFCT, the aim of the TUS is designed to help a selected few JRPSS scholars continue their flying training course and achieve the LAPL.

In consultation with the Officer In Charge (OIC) and Head of Training (HoT) of their allocated RAF Flying Club, successful applicants will be expected to arrange their own flying training schedules. However, applicants are to note that all flying training must be completed during the set training period of 1 Apr 19 to 30 Aug 19 only. Furthermore, applicants should not underestimate the personal commitment required to complete the Scholarship Scheme and are advised to consider whether their work, family and additional commitments during the set training period will allow them to undertake the JRPSS without issue.

An online application is provided at this website. However, before making an application, personnel are required to have read, understood and accept the JRPSS Terms & Conditions, the RAFFCA Privacy Statement and the SurveyMonkey Privacy Policy which are all linked below:

The RAFCT Trustees and RAFFCA Execs wish you the best of luck with your application - the JRPSS really is a wonderful opportunity for any aviation-minded Junior Rank to achieve a flying licence and, fingers crossed your first flying lesson isn’t that far away..... shortly followed by your first solo flight of course!

Will the RAF’s 101st year be the year that you learn to fly?

Applicants should look out for updates on the selection process and additional JRPSS information through the following social media streams. Winners will be announced at 1200 on Friday 1 March 2019.

Will the RAF’s 101st year be the year that you learn to fly?

Introducing Tecnam P2008JC

Unquestionably the most exciting news of 2016 was to hear that the Trustees of the RAF Charitable Trust (RAF CT) had authorised the purchase of a new Tecnam P2008JC aircraft to enhance the delivery of the Junior Rank Pilot Scholarship Scheme (JRPSS). The aircraft is ultra-efficient, thus reducing the cost of each Scholarship and, ergo, ultimately allowing even more scholarships to be offered!

The investment and provision of an aircraft such as G-RFCA is incredible and the RAF Flying Clubs’ Association (RAFFCA) is extremely grateful for the RAF CT’s vision and support to deliver the JRPSS across the RAF Junior Rank (JR) cadre. As Chairman of the RAF CT, Air Marshal Sir Kevin Leeson presented G-RFCA’s keys to Cpl Steve Buckley, the first JRPSS scholar to achieve his PPL, on 23 May 16.

Tecnam P2008JC

Our previous winners

Just click on a crest to find out more

Our applicants share their thoughts and experiences of the programme.

SAC Charlotte Peacock

"The JRPSS has allowed me to face my anxieties with communication and meet some extraordinary people it has given me so much courage in my everyday life and it has shown me a way of finding peace when I have tough days. Being up in the clouds looking down it just reminds me of how I am a part of something so much bigger than myself and I am extremely lucky to have what I do. Flying will always hold a special place in my life and the JRPSS will allow me to experience that thrill and take it further into a recognised qualification that I can take with me throughout the rest of my career and onto the civilian world when it is my time to move on. It will allow me to develop myself as an individual to be able to grow and become the best version of myself not just for myself but for those around me and I have The RAF Charitable Trust to thank for that"

SAC Stephanie Schultz

"The JRPSS has been incredible and when I saw my name on the list to receive a Top Up Scheme award I was elated - after seeing how many applicants there were I was unsure of whether I would be one of the lucky 10. I would like to say a massive thankyou to the RAF Charitable Trust for their funding and to the RAF Flying Clubs’ Association for delivering my training.  My aim now is to get my LAPL license with the next 15 hours and then carry on hopefully to my full PPL. To anyone who is thinking about applying for next year’s JRPSS I very much recommend you to go for it!, I’ve had some of the best times in the skies and I’m only just beginning my journey......"

SAC Yewniece Hylton

“I applied for the JRPSS as I’ve always been interested in flying but I’ve never had access to a flying club or the means to pursue flying as a hobby.   The Scheme provides you with all your equipment and makes sure that you allocate the time to learning which can sometimes be difficult. Flying has been a lot more hands on than I expected.  I didn’t think it would be easy but in the Cessna you’re doing all the flying and it’s very hands on, certainly no auto pilot!  Flying itself was easier to pick up than I imagined (I don’t drive, so it was something completely new). After a few lessons, all the new things you learn come together and as you then do it each time you fly, it becomes muscle memory.  Training was split into nice manageable chunks, at the start it was a lot to take in with it all being new but then it became more about perfecting and improving your airmanship.  Learning to fly has made me more confident, there were some lessons that took me outside of my comfort zone e.g. stalls and spins; there isn’t anywhere to go whilst you’re in the sky so I just had to take a minute, re-focus and continue on.  The Scholarship Scheme has also made me really consider a career in aviation once I leave the military, my childhood dream of becoming a cargo pilot feels as though it could be a reality! Thank you RAF Charitable Trust...”

SAC (T) Tristan Hyland

"When I nervously scrolled down on the 2018 JRPSS announcement page to the list of successful applicants I was ecstatic when my name popped up! I could not wipe the grin off my face. I cannot thank the RAF Charitable Trust enough for what they have provided me with - without this fantastic Scheme I would have found it very difficult to pursue this aspiration of gaining my very own private pilot’s licence. The excitement is growing and, having recently been awarded a Top Up Scheme grant, I am really looking forward to the next stage of study and then putting everything I have learnt into practice in the sky"

Cpl. Charlotte Williams

"There is a scheme I heard about, often only mentioned in whispers; it allowed the winners to fly! “I will never win” was the first thought that crossed my mind. I threw caution to the wind and took a chance and guess what?...... Ker Ching my ticket came in and I was going to learn to fly! I was now on the ladder to becoming a pilot. Being in the Royal Air Force is something I am very proud of but to know how it feels to fly like the pilots that I have supported as a Flight Operations Assistant would be a dream come true. It stayed a dream all the way through till reality hit home on my first solo flight. I was the captain of my aircraft. I was choosing the direction and making the radio calls. I was flying - ME!!!! It is amazing. I have been given a chance to soar in the clouds and I am loving every minute of it. The RAF Charitable Trust, RAFFCA and the JRPSS have given me an incredible view of the world; from the skies as long as it’s in uncontrolled airspace and below the cloud line.... until I pass and then the sky is MINE !!!"

Cpl. Anthony Barnes

"My sincere thanks to the RAF Charitable Trust for providing me with such an incredible opportunity! A flying scholarship for Junior Ranks - just so so so good and I'm so grateful and humbled that I have been a part of the JRPSS which has become a large part of my daily life. I was the first JRPSS scholar to fly the amazing Tecnam Aircraft and also the first to go solo in it - all made possible by the RAF Charitable Trust and RAFFCA. I am determined to continue flying and complete the full PPL by April 2017 as I am passionate about aviation and never thought that I could achieve so much. Thank you!!"

SAC Aaron Garcha, RAF Akrotiri

"Something I’ve always aimed for is a pilot’s licence. However, cost and time, as a Junior Rank with an ever growing family has held me back. After a good friend encouraged me to apply for the JRPSS, I genuinely didn’t think I’d be lucky enough to be accepted."

"Since my successful application i have met friends for life whilst visiting airfields and events around the UK, had an experience of a lifetime when I flew solo as pilot in command for the first time and now, again thanks to the RAF Charitable Trust, I have been awarded a Top-Up of my scholarship to achieve the full pilots licence - To put it simply, a lifetime achievement that would never have happened without the incredible help of the Charity."

"Incredible Charity, Incredible RAF Flying Clubs, Incredible Flight Instructors all making for an Incredible Experience. This is a MUST for any Junior Rank that has an ambition to take flight! Thank you so much."

SAC Josh Lyons

"I'd completed a few flying hours prior to applying for the JRPSS but the cost had all but prevented me from flying more than once every few months. I applied and was fortunate enough to be selected for this amazing opportunity."

"Not only has it now taken me past my 20 hour mark, I've flown solo, completed ground exams and attended many high profile events through the scheme, for free! It is an amazing opportunity with superb aircraft, facilities and instructors and I couldn't recommend it highly enough to anyone considering applying for the 2017 scheme."

"I have also been fortunate to be selected for further hours which will allow me to obtain my LAPL, in the future I'd like to undertake aerobatic training in the hope of participating in the RAFFC aerobatic competition in the future."

Cpl. Amy Foster

Amy completed her flying training at the RAF Halton Aero Club. Here is what she had to say about that first solo moment!

“Arriving at Halton Aeroplane Club on the first day, one of our briefs included the fact we could expect solo flight in 10-15 hours! The puzzled expression on my face caused my instructor to laugh!”

“Reaching 12.5 hours I knew the big event was fast approaching... After a good circuit session Lucas my instructor suggested we go in for a break, we landed, he took control and taxied back to the end of the runway, looked at me and said "It's your turn now" and just jumped out”

“I can honestly say I've never felt such fear and excitement all in one!! Such an amazing day that I'll always remember!!”

Cpl. Andy Jones

Andy completed his training at the RAF Benson Flying Club but continued flying at the RAF Waddington Flying Club and will soon have achieved his full PPL! Here is what Andy had to say....

“I’d had some flying experience in the past for birthday presents but I was really nervous about the training. It was such a steep learning curve and there is so much to think about.”

“It’s an amazing feeling when the instructor asks if you want to take the yoke for the first time, but the biggest moment was when I went solo”

“It was exciting and nerve-wracking because until then I had always had back up in case something went wrong. I will always remember the exhilaration of that flight.”

Cpl. Steve Buckley
Cpl. Steve Buckley

Cpl Steve Buckley completed the JRPSS on a PA 28 aircraft, flying from the RAF Scampton Flying Club. He has continued his training and is almost at full PPL standard, hoping to commence aerobatic training in the New Year! Steve’s thoughts...

“When I sent off the JRPSS application, I never thought I would be lucky enough to gain a place on the scheme. My instructor was superb - Capt Don Paxton and I’ll never forget when he asked me to stop on the runway, before getting out and allowing me fly a solo circuit, I couldn’t stop smiling!”

“The scheme was everything and more I could have imagined, without it I would still be talking or thinking about flying. Since completing the Scholarship I have continued training and am currently working towards achieving a Private Pilots Licence. The most rewarding, yet scary, moment was when I completed a solo land away to Nottingham Airport. The scary moment was the realisation that I was in command of the aircraft! On return to Scampton, I couldn’t believe I had flown an aeroplane by myself into a different airfield, this was a huge personal achievement and a dream come true”

“I have nearly completed my PPL and have my eyes set on aerobatic training so that I can compete in a competition next year - who would have thought it!?!?”

See 3 lucky JRPSS 17 winners get their good news!

Click here for JRPSS 2019 winner list