Andy’s Air League Powered Flying Scholarship

Clayesmore's Pilot

It’s always good to receive news from past students, and 2018 leaver, Andy, got in touch to tell us about his experience with The Air League’s Powered Flying Scholarship this summer: 

“In April 2018, I was fortunate enough to receive one of The Air League’s 12 Hour Powered Flying Scholarships. The flying that I undertook at Booker Aviation in High Wycombe was phenomenal. During the scholarship, I flew the Cessna 152, rapidly progressing through the basics of flight and safety procedures before tackling the more complicated circuit procedure in London’s Aerospace. I experienced the complex operations of a busy aerodrome with Helicopters at 700-900ft, gliders to the left of their main 24 runway, other local powered traffic in the area and the London Terminal Manoeuvring Area (TMA) at 3500ft. Although it was challenging at times, it gave me a taste of what a real-world airport is like, and, more importantly, has assisted me in becoming a safer more aware pilot.  Now, with 12 hours towards my EASA Private Pilot’s Licence (PPL), I feel more determined than ever to fulfil my commercial airline pilot ambition. Some people would answer the question “Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?” simply with a noun such as a ‘bank’, ‘school’ or ‘hospital’ (or similar), whilst my answer remains “In the right hand seat of a state-of-the art Boeing or Airbus Airliner”.

Prior to the scholarship, I had a good amount of gliding experience behind me, but no powered flight hours due to financial constraints; however, my skills from Gliding were easily transferable. At the end of the 12 hours, I finished the scholarship 1 hour away from solo standard, looking forward to reaching this milestone in my coming lessons.

I’m very grateful for the multitude of opportunities that The Air League has given me. Without which, I wouldn’t be the pilot I am today. Recently, I was granted exclusive access to the Royal International Air Tattoo with The Air League, at which I represented the organisation and had the privilege to meet the pilots of the The Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, The Red Arrows and current British Airways Pilots.

Perhaps the highlight of the opportunities I’ve received was when myself and a group of budding young aviators from The Air League were given a behind-the-scenes tour of the British Airways HQ at London Heathrow Airport where we flew their multi-million pound, full-motion flight simulators that pilots of the modern world use for training day-to-day.”

Andy will be taking up a place at the University of Bath this Autumn to read Spanish and Italian and we wish him all the best.