Glider pilots are celebrating at Wolds Gliding Club after the club produced it’s youngest ever solo pilot.
After less than two months of training and 51 flights, Will Blackburn who lives in Seaton Ross, was sent solo by instructor Dave Holborn at the age of 14.
Will joins only a handful of glider pilots in the UK who have managed to go solo at this age after recent changes in European flying rules . He had his first glider flight on 5th May and loved every minute of it. After that he was down at the club to practice as often as possible and went solo on Sunday 21st July.
Will said: “It was brilliant. All this couldn’t have happened without the instructors and everybody at the club. Now I want to get more experience, improve my flying and long term become an instructor myself. My aim is to become an RAF or commercial pilot.”
Instructor, Dave Holborn who did Will’s final checks before sending him solo said: “A testament to the instructors before me and to Will’s dedication and talent. I will watch with interest as his flying career develops.”
Chief Flying Instructor, John Norman said: “I couldn’t be more pleased that Will has been given the opportunity to prove that gliding is a skill that can be taught. He has, by application and dedication, shown that his generation is capable of making decisions that we would not normally assume of them. I can only congratulate him but do look forward to many more youngsters coming into the sport.”
“Gliding is a sport in its own right and can be continued as such by anyone who just wants to fly. However, over the past three years the Wolds Gliding Club has produced four commercial pilots, all who started as very junior solo pilots and three who have represented Great Britain in the World Gliding Championships. I hope we get many more junior members and who knows how high Will can go in the gliding movement.”