Juniors take flight on Long Mynd
A special weekend for junior glider pilots in Shropshire was a soaring success, with the youngsters enjoying both a taste of the real thing and trying their hand at the controls virtually on a wide-screen simulator.
The juniors weekend at the Midland Gliding Club on the Long Mynd attracted youngsters from all over the country.
Club spokesman Chris Ellis said: "Organised by the British Gliding Association, the event not only gave the young pilots the experience of flying from a spectacular hilltop site but also to receive coaching from top competition pilots.
"A total of 91 visitors, as well as the club's own junior contingent, enjoyed some lively soaring in the brisk westerly wind.
"Our photo shows 17-year-old Oriana Rowe from Telford 'flying' the club's gliding simulator. Oriana, a pupil at Idsall School, Shifnal, is studying for A-levels and hopes eventually to join the Royal Navy as a fast jet pilot.
"At the annual awards presentations she won the Neill Trophy as the young pilot who had made the greatest progress over the past year.
"The simulator is a new addition to the training program and is incredibly realistic in depicting the local terrain in great detail. It can screen a wide variety of soaring conditions and it is possible to 'fly' away from the airfield over the surrounding area.
"The club is keen to attract new members of all ages. It is possible to train from 12 years old and fly solo at 14 and keep flying as long as you are fit enough to hold driving licence. Currently the youngest club solo pilot is 14 and the most senior is 85."
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