Hull Collegiate School Alumnus Reaches for the Skies

Emily charity fundraising for the Air Ambulance

When we said farewell to Emily Heaton in 2016, we were immensely proud that she was embarking on a medical career but little did we know that she had set her sights on an RAF career as well.

On joining Hull York Medical School (HYMS), Emily signed up for the Yorkshire Universities Air Squadron (YUAS). University Air Squadrons are open to university students who have at least two years left of their undergraduate courses and, whilst there is no obligation to join the RAF, they offer a unique introduction to the Air Force and seek to nurture many of the skills needed to be an RAF officer.

Emily learning how to scrub

During her time on YUAS, Emily has participated in a wide range of activities designed to challenge her and test her endurance. She has engaged in all manner of physical activities such as skiing, mountain biking and rock climbing and has faced some gruelling challenges such as the Nijmegen Marches – a four-day 100 mile march commemorating battles fought in Holland. But most exciting of all, Emily has learnt to fly a plane culminating in an hour long solo navigational flight across East and North Yorkshire.

In 2018, Emily was granted a Royal Air Force bursary and was subsequently awarded a cadetship in 2019. This means she is spending her final two years at university as an Acting Pilot Officer and once she graduates she will attend officer training at RAF College Cranwell.

Emily accepting her preliminary flying badge award
Emily attesting as an RAF officer 

Commenting on her involvement in the University Air Squadron, Emily said:

“Joining YUAS has been such a highlight of my time at medical school and I am so excited to be able to join the RAF as a doctor when I graduate. My time at Hull Collegiate definitely prepared me for the University Air Squadron.  HCS’s focus on developing team work, resilience and perseverance are all skills which I have drawn upon during my time on YUAS. We’re always looking for new recruits and it would be great to welcome more HCS alumni into our squadron!”

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