A Mabethorpe teenager really does have his head in the clouds after becoming the Lincolnshire Gliding Club’s first youngster to fly solo .
Ethan Scott (14), who attends Queen Elizabeth Grammar School in Alford, is a regular visitor to the Strubby-based gliding club and was delighted to get that nerve-racking first solo flight completed.
He said: “I am delighted - and relieved.
“Once I landed, my pre-solo nerves were over and I am now really excited about the challenges that are there for me to tackle on my own.”
It is first time in the club’s glorious 50-year history that someone as young as Ethan has undertaken a solo flight at their airfield.
The club’s chief flying instructor Dick Skerry explained: “While 14-years-old is the minimum age possible to fly solo in a glider, it is a very unusual achievement and certainly a first for our the gliding club.
“I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Ethan on this fantastic achievement.
“I also wish him well for the solo flights he has to come in the future.”
Ethan said he was happy that he could share experiences of solo flightrs with other club members.
He added: “I’m happy that I can now join the rest of the club in being solo.
“I’ll be able to join in with the conversations about everyone’s past experiences in the near future (hopefully this summer).
“I started gliding as it was a birthday present for me.
“However, I wanted to try it out before then as it’s always been a dream of mine to fly and gliding was an affordable and accessible sport for me.
“The art of gliding requires knowledge and logical thinking, as well as good hand-eye co-ordination, so it challenges you in quite a wide range of ways.
“The sport makes you think differently every time you fly, as the weather is never the same, even when you fly again on the same day.
“You have to assess and respond to a situation differently which adds to the excitement and adventure to the sport because it always has surprises for you.”
Chief flight instructor Skerry is now hoping other youngsters might follow in Ethan’s trail and take up gliding.
He added: “What’s great about gliding for youngsters, is that membership at the club is free for juniors.
“They also receive reduced flying rates.
“We hope Ethan’s story might encourage others to give it ago.”
1 For more information about the Lincolnshire Gliding Club, visit: http://www.lincsgliding.org.uk.