Meet the team...

The team at 634 is made up Commissioned Officers RAFVR(T), Civilian Gliding Instructors (CGI) and Flight Staff Cadets (FSC). We try to develop everyone within the VGS and allocate individuals with specific tasks and responsibilities as indicated below. FSC’s are usually allocated a specific part of the unit and put in charge of its husbandry.

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OFFICER COMMANDING (OC)

Sqn Ldr E D Griffith RAFVR(T) - A2* Category Instructor

After serving with the RAF as a Fighter Controller in the mid 1970s, Sqn Ldr Griffith started gliding with 634 VGS at St Athan in 1982, flying the T21 Sedbergh "vintage" glider. Commissioned initially as a RAFVR(T) officer with 1148 (Penarth) Sqn ATC, he became Adjutant at the VGS in the mid 1980s, during which time the VGS converted to the modern high performance Viking glider, followed by appointment to CFI in 1994. Promoted to Sqn Ldr and appointed as Commanding Officer in April 1996 he oversaw the Sqn's conversion to the Vigilant motor-glider in 2003.

 

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CHIEF FLYING INSTRUCTOR (CFI)

Sqn Ldr I Jones RAFVR(T) - A2* Category Instructor

Sqn Ldr Jones started gliding with 634 VGS at St Athan in 1968, flying the MK3 and the T21 Sedbergh "vintage" glider. Commissioned initially as a RAFVR(T) officer with 30F (Cardiff) Sqn ATC, has been supernumerary with 634VGS until the present time. Later the VGS converted to the modern high performance Viking glider - in all some 15,000 launches in conventinal winch launched gliders. His primary duty is Regional Sports Officer for Wales and West Region appointed in 1976.

 

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Sqn Ldr G North RAFVR(T) - A2* Category Instructor

Sqn Ldr G W North joined the St Athan Squadron following retirement from nine years as Commanding Officer of 624 VG Sqn at Chivenor in North Devon. He trained to fly conventional gliders when 18 years of age, later gaining a CAA Private Pilots Licence and an A2* Vigilant Instructor Rating in 1995. Sqn Ldr North joined the Air Training Corps in 1984 and commanded the Wellington ATC Unit 1013DF a few years later.

 

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DEPUTY COMMANDING OFFICER (DCO) / DEPUTY CHEIF FLYING INSTRUCTOR (DCFI) / TECH OFFICER

Flt Lt S Arrowsmith RAFVR(T) - A2* Category Instructor

During his time as a cadet on 247 ATC sqn , Fl Lt Arrowsmith gained his Basic Gliding training solo wings with 631VGS at RAF Sealand on the Viking T1 in 1990. Shortly afterwards he left the ATC and his native Lancashire to pursue a career in Aerospace Engineering. A chance meeting with the CFI of 634 VGS saw him recruited on to the squadron in July 1996 as a MT / Winch driver. Since then he has progressed through the grades on both Viking T1 and then the Vigilant T1 airframes and was commission in the RAFVR(T) in 2001. Currently an A2* instructor, he holds the positions of Squadron technical officer and squadron Deputy Chief Flying Instructor.

 

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Fg Off I de Montet-Guerin - A2 Category Instructor

This will be updated shortly.

 

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SQUADRON ADJUTANT

Plt Off N Jones - B Category Instructor

Plt Off Jones' first ever flight was in a Chipmunk in 1990 whilst an Air Cadet on Pencoed 2426 Sqn. He managed to log several A.E.F. powered hours and a flight in a Venture Motor Glider before visiting 636 V.G.S. (Swansea) where he would learn to fly the Viking Glider and later complete his I.G.T. & B.G.T. courses.

In 1996 he joined the University of Wales Air Sqn based at RAF St Athan as an Officer Cadet RAF(VR) Pilot, where he learnt to put the Bulldog T MK1 through it's paces along the beautiful heritage coast line where 634 V.G.S. currently operate today. During this time and whilst on UK and overseas detachments, Plt Off Jones got to fly low-level and air-to-air combat training sorties in several aircraft including the Hawk T MK 1, Hercules C130, T38 jet trainer, to name but a few.

 

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DEPUTY TECH OFFICER / MT OFFICER (MTO) / WEB MANAGER

CGI P Barry - B Category Instructor

An Air Cadet in the mid 1990s to early 2000s, CI Barry completed a Gliding Scholarship at St Athan in the conventional Viking glider. After a chance encounter with his past gliding instructor in Cardiff in 2007, he joined 634 as a Civilian Instructor. He has since completed another GS in the Vigilant motor-glider as well as progressing to a C Category pilot as of May 2009.

 

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UNIT FLIGHT SAFETY OFFICER (UFSO)

CGI S Link - B Category Instructor

I have always had a keen interest in aviation from a young age after a visit to an air show. With this I joined the Air Training Corps in March 2003, at the age of 13 with 2213 (City of Llandaff) Sqn.  I had my first gliding experiences at 625VGS on the Viking Glider, however completed my final GIC exercise at 634VGS at MOD St Athan with Sqn Ldr Griffith in November 2006.
I began my Gliding Scholarship in February 2007, completing the syllabus the following July. I was then offered the opportunity to undertake an AGT course that October and upon successful completion of this I was appointed as a Flight Staff Cadet, progressing then to a Grade 2 pilot in February 2008, and the further progressing to a Grade 1 pilot during the squadron's detachment to 636VGS at Swansea Airport in October 2008.
 During my time with the Air Cadets I also completed a 12 hour flying scholarship with Tayside Aviation, in Dundee, on the Grob Heron in the summer 2008. I am currently studying for an MSc in Geography at Swansea University along with being an Officer Cadet with the University of Wales Air Squadron also located at MoD St Athan thus allowing me to continue my services with 634 Volunteer Gliding Squadron.

 

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ADMIN OFFICER

CGI A Arrowsmith - C Category Instructor

Angela started off as a cadet on 415 (Merthyr) Sqn. After completing her BGT, she join 634VGS as a staff cadet on Vikings. Apart from a brief departure to the Royal Navy in 2000, she had remained a member of staff on 634 VGS since 1997. Whilst being an instructor she also carries out the role of Admin officer, and is in charge of any Sqn BBQs!

 

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CGI R Gibson - C Category Instructor

Born 1989 in Dubai (U.A.E), Began the first few years of my education out in the U.A.E and then moved back to the U.K in 1999 studied further for my A levels which I obtained in summer 2007 and currently I am studying forensic science
            My first every air experience flight was in April 2003 after joining 1092 (Bridgend) squadron in February 2003, since then I have managed to gain the rank of sergeant and obtain a flying scholarship in 2005 that excelled me through my AGT and up to my current C Category status.
            In my spare time I enjoy flying remote controlled model aircraft, when I am not doing that I am either tinkering with my mini, doing up hill rallying for my sponsors as part of the BCCC or relaxing, fishing and on a rare occasion horse riding.

 

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CGI N Griffiths - C Category Instructor

Now 21, I am former Air Cadet of 212(Risca) Squadron; I joined 634 VGS in 2007 as a Flight Staff Cadet. In January 2010 I was appointed as a Civilian Gliding Instructor.

In February 2011 I became a C-category instructor, which now allows me teach Gliding Scholarship students. In the same year we had detached to Swansea whilst St Athan had undergone redevelopment of its runway service I had also started studying Law & Criminology at Swansea University. In the time at Swansea University I have also joined the University of Wales Air Squadron and I am now a 2nd year student on the Squadron.

 

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CGI T Nation - C Category Instructor

I have been in the corps since May 2005 and am currently a Cpl on 1004 Pontypridd Sqn. I've always had a keen interest in aviation and jumped at the chance to attend a Gliding Scholarship on the Vigilant during May 2008. After gaining my silver wings I was given the opportunity to start my AGT and become a flight staff cadet. I have also attended the land command leadership course at Frimley Park as well as representing number 1 welsh wing in rugby, football, swimming, aircraft modelling and aircraft recognition.
I am currently attending Y Pant comprehensive school studying A Levels in maths, geography, biology and drama. My ambition in life is to become a pilot in the RAF, or if all else fails a multi millionaire actor or something along those lines would do just fine!

 

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CGI A Roberts - C Category Instructor

Cadet Warrant Officer Adam Roberts joined 1344 Sqn (Cardiff) in July of 2005. Following completion of a Gliding scholarship in February 2006 with 634 VGS, he joined them as a flight staff cadet in April 2006.

During his time in the Air Cadets, Adam has had a wide variety of experiences.
He has represented Wales & West region at Core Aircraft recognition twice, and is currently second in the corps, and has also won 'Bearshead' Adventure training camp twice.

He completed his Duke of Edinburgh expedition in Australia and after winning a prize in the Duke of Westminster awards, visited South Africa for three weeks to travel and undertake charity work. He also recently visited Texas as part of the International Air Cadet exchange, and is a graduate of the gruelling 'Junior Leaders' course.

Adam has a keen interest in Photography, however, flying is his main passion, and he is halfway towards a Private pilot's license, thanks to the Air cadet Pilot scheme, and a RAFA flying scholarship.
He attained Grade 1 Pilot status on the Vigilant T1 in August of 2007, and in the future, would like to join the Armed Forces as a Pilot- though if this fails, he will be happy in the civilian world!

 

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CGI D Walker - C Category Instructor

CGI Darren Walker is an ex Cadet Warrant Officer (CWO) from 2195 (Long Eaton) Squadron, South and East Midlands Wing. He successfully completed his GS with 616 VGS at RAF Henlow in May 2008, before becoming a Flight Staff Cadet (FSC) with 644 VGS situated at RAF Syerston. Darren was successful enough to be accepted by the University of Glamorgan to study for a BSc in Aircraft Maintenance Engineering. He transferred across to 634 VGS at MOD St Athan and joined the team in September 2010.

 

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CGI J Wood - C Category Instructor

CGI Wood was a cadet with 254 (Aberdare) Sqn when he completed a Gliding Scholarship in the Viking glider at 634 VGS in 2002. After completing AGT, he joined 634 VGS as a Flight Staff Cadet in 2002 and went on to attend the Portmoak detachment in Scotland for a week's advanced gliding training in ridge soaring. On leaving 254 Sqn at the age of 18 in the rank of Sgt, CGI Wood joined the VGS as an adult volunteer. After conversion to the Vigilant motor-glider in 2003, he rose to C category as an instructor, before leaving to join the RAF Regiment as a gunner, where he served until early 2010. He then rejoined 634 VGS and has recently regained his Grade 1 pilot qualification. He hopes to renew his C category qualification before the end of 2011

 

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CGI R Fackrell - Grade 1 Pilot

CGI Rhys Fackrell joined 1004 (Pontypridd) ATC Squadron at the age of 13, and was promoted to the rank of Flight Sergeant during his membership. Whilst a member of the ATC, Rhys successfully flew solo on both a gliding and flying scholarship, represented Wales and West region in cross country, he was also one of 3 of the team Air recognition National champions of 2008. Rhys has visited a number of UK stations an also had the opportunity to visit RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus. He then became a Civilian Instructor on the same squadron, supporting the squadron for a year. Aviation and flying has been at the forefront of Rhys' priorities, and following interview, joined the 634 VGS team in November 2009. Rhys is now a Grade 1 Civilian Gliding Instructor, following many instructional flying, ground duty and crew room hours. He is currently studying Aeronautical Engineering at the University of Glamorgan of which he'll graduate in the summer of 2013. Along with my commitments at the VGS and University, he's also an active member of the University Of Wales Air Squadron. Having flown solo in the tutor, attended many adventurous training and sporting activities, and many more, he continues to develop as an individual, gaining invaluable experience and knowledge. Rhys ultimately aims to follow his dream to become a Military pilot, if not, a civilian one, but otherwise a career in general aviation.

 

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SQN PR OFFICER & PHOTOGRAPHER / DEPUTY IT & WEB ADMIN OFFICER

CGI M Griffiths - Grade 1 Pilot

CGI Mike Griffiths is an ex cadet of 1092 (Bridgend) Sqn which he joined at around 16. He had done a variety of cadet activities including shooting, air recognition competitions, drill competitions, Duke of Edinburgh Bronze award and a flight in a Bulldog shortly before the Tutors took over. He had also done a FAM and GIC in the Grob G-103 'Viking' T1 and whilst visiting 634 for some further flying had a spot of luck with attaining a chance to do a Gliding Scholarship. This was completed and he was offered the opportunity to further his flying training with an AGT course and to also become a Flight Staff Cadet on 634 VGS. He took this opportunity in early 2000 and quickly progressed through the grades, eventually leaving the squadron in September 2001 having attained Grade 1 status. He had also attended a week course ridge soaring in Portmoak, Scotland.
A chance encounter with the Squadrons CFI in Sep 2008 has seen Mike return to the VGS to pick up where he left off; albeit in a slightly different aircraft ("These ones have air conditioning!"). Mike is hoping to quickly progress back to Grade 1 status and then strive to attain a C Cat Instructor's grade.
Mike currently works in IT and his other hobbies include cars & motorsport, radio control cars/aircraft and he is also a keen photographer.

 

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ASSISTANT TO SUPPLY OFFICER / ASSISTANT TO ADMIN OFFICER

CGI C Higgins - Grade 1 Pilot

Claire joined 2193 Prestatyn Sqn ATC in 1995 and left the corps as a CWO in August 2002. She completed her gliding scholarship in the Viking T1 at 631VGS RAF Sealand in June 1999. In Spring 2007, Claire saw an advert in the local press that 634VGS needed to recruit new staff members and decided that she wanted to help the squadron out so she rejoined the corps as a CGI in April 2007.

 

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CGI A Rees - Grade 1 Pilot

Flight Staff Cadet Ashley Rees joined Bridgend Air Cadets in 2006. Since he has been there he has undergone numerous activities including overseas camps, Nijmegen Marches and many leadership courses. After completing his Gliding Scholarship in May 2009 at 636 VGS he gained his silver wings. Kindly being offered an interview with OC 634 VGS for Flight Staff Cadet he joined 634 VGS later that May. Ashley then went on to gain his AGT later on that year and to progress to his Grade 2 after extremely bad weather slowed the process down. Ashley has recently gained his Grade 1 in July 2010 and flew his first cadet a week before his 18th birthday. After gaining an apprenticeship with British Airways he is to stay with 634 VGS for many more years and progressing up the grades. Ashley was nominated as Staff Cadet of the Year 2010 by the VGS senior instructors, the prize for which was a flight in a hawk with an instructor at the Empire Test Pilot School, RAF Boscombe Down in December 2010.

 

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SUPPLY OFFICER / IT MANAGER

CGI M Warne - Grade 1 Pilot

I grew up in my teens within the Armed forces as a way of life and was also a Cadet myself back in 1987 where I joined number 5 Overseas Training Crops out at Royal Air Force Laarbruch in Germany, managed to get to Flight Sergeant after 4 years, loads of Summer Camps, Plane rides...but the best of all was when I got my wings with the ATC, I was lucky to be one of the first cadets to go solo in the Grob 109 Vigilant when it came into service back in 1990 at RAF Syerston the home of Central Gliding School for Volunteer Gliding School Instructors.

I left the Air Cadets in April 1991 to join the Royal Air Force, in which the training I got from being a Air Cadet really did give me that extra bit of help to get through my basic and trade training in the Royal Air Force. Now I am out of the RAF and I feel its time to put some time back into the system to help and teach others...

I applied and joined 634 VGS as a Civilian Glider Instructor (CGI) back in 2005 when I was working for the M.o.D supporting IT for RAF St Athan, I have duties on the School the first being Supply side of things (flying kit etc.) and of course the second is the School IT equipment.

 

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FSC H Brooks - Grade 1 Pilot

Currently a Flt Sgt, I joined the ATC back in 2007 at the age of 14 with 2213 (City Of Llandaff) Sqn. Throughout my time in cadets I have participated in a wide range of activities from shooting and caving to first aid and aircraft modelling. I have represented my wing in Rugby, Football and Athletics and also represented Wales and West region in swimming. My first gliding experience was at 634 in 2007 and after a bit of a wait I was awarded a gliding scholarship in 2009 from which I gained my silver wings. A few months later I was appointed as a flight staff cadet and progressed through my AGT and G2 to my current status as a G1 which allows me to take other cadets for their first gliding experiences. Alongside this I completed a 12 hour flying scholarship at Tayside aviation, Dundee, winning the Trophy for Flying Excellence which proved to be an invaluable experience. I am currently in my first year at Swansea University studying Aerospace Engineering with foundation year and look forward to a career in aviation in the future.

 

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SAC L Cushing - Under Training

This will be completed soon.

 

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CGI E Duffy - Under Training

Whilst studying for a BEng Aerospace Engineering at Swansea University, Emily joined the University of Wales Air Squadron and had her first introduction to the world of aviation in a Grob Tutor 115E. Upon graduating University, she was offered a bursary to continue Postgraduate study in Materials Engineering. With this she joined 634 VGS as a Civilian Gliding Instructor and is currently under training to achieve Grade 1 status. In her spare time Emily is an avid member of the University Choir and has recently started playing Lacrosse.