Flying High

By December 1, 2016news-leeds
benjie-ambler-first-solo-glider-flight

A student from GSAL has become one of the world’s youngest pilots.

Benjie Ambler, a student from The Grammar School at Leeds (GSAL) has become one of the world’s youngest qualified pilots after flying solo for the first time.

The teenager, who practices at Burn Gliding Club in North Yorkshire, completed a solo flying mission in an ASK 21 glider to pass the national aviation law exam, set by the Civil Aviation Authority. Scoring 100% in the test, Benjie, at 14, is now one of the youngest in the UK to go solo. His father, Allister, said: “The British Gliding Association, the governing body of the sport, stipulates glider pilots have to be 14 years of age and upwards to go solo. They can fly a glider three years before they can legally drive a car.”

Benjie is a member of the Leeds Grammar School Air Cadets, and had already spent a day at RAF Linton-on-Ouse flying with an RAF instructor, who was, according to Allister, very impressed with Benjie’s flying skill: “He allowed him to take the controls of the aircraft for the majority of the flight.”

Benjie’s ambition is to be a jet pilot with the RAF Quick Reaction Force, based at RAF Coningsby, Lincolnshire, flying the Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft and aeronautical engineering at university.

In summer 2016, he also took part in the charity bike ride from Morecambe to Bridlington in memory of Richard Goldberg and raised over £11,000 in the process.