Student sees avaition dream take off

Student sees avaition dream take off

2nd April 2014


A BUDDING pilot is reaching for the skies after securing a rare opportunity to learn how to fly solo.

Northallerton College sixth former Jake Bell has been selected from more than 2,000 applicants for an Air Training Corps intensive pilot scheme.

He will form part of a 140-strong contingent from all over the country on a gruelling two-week course at Tayside Aviation in Dundee over the Easter holidays.

By the end of the session he will be able to prepare, manoeuvre and fly a solo aircraft up to 10,000ft, including navigating, instrument flying and refuelling.

For the 19-year-old air cadet corporal, of Northallerton, being selected will see his dream of being a pilot take off.

Since childhood he has wanted to be a Chinook helicopter pilot and has already completed a glider scholarship which saw him flying solo.

“I’m following in my granddad’s and my father’s footsteps by being an air cadet,” he said.

“But I will be the only one to become a pilot if I am successful. My dad is an IT specialist so again I am following him. Most modern aircraft involve a massive amount of IT so flying would combine both loves.”

The sixth former is currently completing A Levels in IT and science and has offers from four universities to study a degree in ethical hacking for computer security, where he will learn how to hack in order to defend networks.

The four year degree would involve spending a year-long placement in industry with an IT security company.

“A previous student accidentally hacked into the NSA – the US’s intelligence agency. But he ended up being offered a job,” he said.

Completing the air cadet course will involve 13 hours of flying in a Grob Tutor single engine aircraft, which will also count towards Jake’s private pilot’s licence.

“There are about 45,000 air cadets in the country, of which up to 2,000 apply, so this is an incredible opportunity and I am both nervous and excited,” he said.

This is what I want to do so I have to perform well. I can’t wait.”

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