Two students received a practical demonstration of the laws of physics when they took to the skies with the Wildcat Aerobatics display team.

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Scott Gilbert, of Old Costessey, and Mikayla Ziegenweidt, from Fakenham, won the experience after entering a competition run by the University Technical College Norfolk, which is set to open in Old Hall Road, Norwich, in September.

The pair spent the first half of the morning learning about aircraft mechanics before being strapped into the Pitts S2 planes to experience the thrills of close formation flying and synchronized opposition work in an adrenaline-filled flight.

Scott, who is 13-years-old, said he was little nervous about the flight but once he was up in the sky he thoroughly enjoyed himself.

“My favourite parts were the spins and going upside down. When we landed I felt so happy that I’d done it”.

Mikayla, who is also 13-years-old, added: “I felt dizzy afterwards but it was a big adrenaline rush”.

The flight, which saw the pair looping and rolling above the Norfolk countryside, including a fly over the Lotus headquarters, was made possible by the UTC’s link with Wildcat Aerobatics.

The Wildcats have a long and successful relationship with City College Norwich and have supported UTC Norfolk since its inception.

Firms including Lotus, Future Marine Services and Gardline will support the UTC’s curriculum by setting various technical challenges, enabling students to apply the skills they have learned in the classroom to real-world engineering problems.

They will also provide work experience placements, as an authentic bridge between education and employment.

Wildcat Aerobatics pilots, Al Coutts and Willie Cruickshank said they were keen to support the young people of Norfolk with their ambitions in engineering.

Mr Coutts said: “As engineers we know the hard-work and joy that an engineering career can bring. For us, it’s about showing students that if they work hard, anything is possible.”

Alex Hayes, UTC Norfolk Principal said the event epitomised the philosophy of the school.

“The role and purpose of the UTC is to work with employers to provide opportunities for students which they otherwise might not get. I am delighted that two of our new students were able to have the opportunity to do something truly amazing”. For more information, visit


  • Good opportunity for the students, but when a new college has to run a massive marketing campaign county wide and use gimmicks to promote themselves you have to wonder where the need really is. Surely students will come rushing for places?

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    Wednesday, April 2, 2014

  • Why is it that these new schools have to use gimmicks and a massive advertising campaign???? Surely a successful Principal like Mr. Hayes who originates from The Open Academy who at this moment in time got 34% A-C last summer and Ofsted "Requires Improvement" should be enough to attract enough students.

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    Sunday, April 6, 2014

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