A HIGH-FLYING teenager is hoping a career in aviation could take off after passing his pilot’s exam.
Former Helsby High School student Ben Pilgrim, 19, of Beech View Road, Kingsley – who is studying Aerospace Engineering at Liverpool University – gained a scholarship from the prestigious Guild of Air Pilots and Air Navigators and passed the gruelling set of exams to qualify for his pilots licence last month at Liverpool John Lennon Airport.
“I was flying before I drove, my driving instructor thought it was weird when it was coming up to my test and I told him I could already fly,” said Benjamin.
“All my friends are really keen to go but I’ve only taken my mum and dad up so far.
“I want to fly my family to the Isle of Man on holiday next year.”
Benjamin – who doesn’t own a plane – completed his flying lessons after receiving a Grand Masters Scholarship from the Guild of Air Pilots and Air Navigators.
“It was quite a bit of work, there are seven exams in total,” added Ben, who recently collected his Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award this month.
“My very first flight was when I was about 14, I was in the Air Training Corps cadets, then for my 15th birthday I had my first proper lesson.
“It took off from there.”
Dad Frank , 48, owner of Kingsley Electrical Engineers, said: “I flew with Ben for the first time as soon as he got his licence.
“I was petrified before, he drives a car and we all know what 19-year-old lads who drive are like, I don’t even trust with a car.
“He was totally different and so professional, it was fantastic.
“We are both extremely proud of his achievements, he has worked exceptionally hard at his flying training as well as his A Level and university studies.”
“It’s more than a hobby, I hope to take it further and do commercial training and hopefully get into the airlines,” said Ben.
“I need sponsorship though, I was offered a place on a flight training in Europe but it costs £80,000.”
Anyone interested in helping Ben can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org