Celebrating 100th MAGS class with Class 1 trainees

We caught up with some of the graduates from Ascent’s very first MAGS class at RAF Cranwell back in 2017 and found out what they are doing, how they hope their careers will progress and what advice they have for the 100th MAGS class.

Flt Lt Matt Kenealy tells us about his experiences.

Q: Why did you choose this career?

A: I had always been interested in aeroplanes but never really considered being a pilot until learning how to fly on the UAS. Given that I spent more time at the airfield than at University I gathered that I had more interest in flying than being an Aerospace Engineer.

Q: When you began the course what were your expectations?

A: I expected the course to be busy with lots of content, and to be a good way to get to know coursemates and instructors.

Q: What were the highlights of your MAGS course?

A: Building camaraderie with coursemates, working as a team to improve our knowledge and succeed in the course.

Q: What were your favourite topics and were there any memorable instructors?

A: I enjoyed principles of flight with Manni Kluge (which stands out because of his memorable accent) and navigation with Andy McNav (Andy Parkes).

Q: With the knowledge gained on the course, how did MAGS equip you for your onward flying training?

A: MAGS provided the foundation for a lot of the knowledge that I have developed throughout my training, and gave me awareness of the how the military operates in aviation.

Q: Can you tell us more about how your career has progressed?

A: After MAGS, I completed EFT on the first Prefect course (course 4…), then after a hold completed the first Prefect FJLIN course, and BFT on the first Texan course. A further hold followed, then the 401 course on the Hawk T2 before I was sent to be a ‘creamie’ instructor on the Texan T1. I have been qualified as an instructor for seven months.

Q: What advice would you give to the 100th MAGS class?

 A: The most important thing on any flying training course is to help each other out, sharing your mistakes, strengths and weaknesses to make everyone better. You learn the most from each other.

Q: Are there things you wish you had known at the very beginning of your career that the 100th MAGS class should be aware of?

A: The end of flying training may seem like a long time away (particularly with holds), but being on a course is the most enjoyable time that you will have, so try and take it one step at a time, focus on the course and don’t speculate about the future (holds, streaming etc.), because it is constantly changing and you never know what opportunities may present themselves.

Q: What are your future aspirations?

A: After a three-year tour on Texan, I will look to complete Hawk T2 training and move on to the front line, preferably a Typhoon Squadron.

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