In 2014, 19 year old Cadet Corporal Sayankan Sivakumar represented the London Wing Air Cadets at the ‘Sun ‘n’ Fun’ Air Show in Florida, which seeks to preserve and enhance the future of flight through world class events and the education of people of all ages. The Air Show Sayankan worked on is the second biggest in the world and ran by volunteers from around the globe.
Sayankan, who is a member of 282 Squadron in East Ham, was supported by a £300 grant from the Jack Petchey Foundation. During the air show he worked as a marshal where his role was paramount in lining up the aircraft for take-off and landing. More than 10,000 aircraft were involved in the Air Show ranging from Commercial Airplanes to Fighter Jets. Along with other representatives from the Kent and Sussex Air Cadet Wings, Sayankan worked alongside members of the US Air Force and Civil Air Patrol.
He said, “The days were long and challenging and we worked from 5 in the morning until 8 at night, but we put mind over matter and got the job done! When Sun ‘n’ Fun had four times the amount of people expected show up, they needed a hand and we gave them two. Even US newspapers, radio and TV approached us for interview and congratulated us on what a wonderful job we were doing!!”
While the main aims of the cadet programme is to provide citizenship training and skills useful in both service and civilian life, it encourages a practical interest in aviation, and it is enthusiastic individuals like Sayankan who also inspire the next generation to become a part of the RAF community.
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