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Ben Akhtar (right) with EFG’s CFI & Head of Training Ray Watson preparing for his first training flight last week

Flying training began last week with the EFG school for 18-year old Ben Akhtar, winner of the Biggin Hill Airport award within the Nick Davidson Memorial Flying Scholarship scheme.

Ben was selected as the 2017 Biggin Hill Airport flying scholar from 85 aspiring local applicants seeking to reach for the skies.  His training course for the Private Pilots Licence (PPL) provides forty five hours of dual and solo flying as well as nine ground subjects, including Air Law and Navigation.

Ben lives with his family in Tatsfield, his father is a GP in a busy Biggin Hill surgery.   During his  years at Oxted School,  Ben took up paragliding at the age of 14 and reached a high standard in the sport, becoming a junior member of the British team and competing throughout the UK and Europe.  He has also tried his hand at Paramotoring, making a video for social media about his exploits.  He joined the Biggin Hill squadron of the Air Training Corps, reaching the rank of Cadet Flight Sergeant.

Holiday work as an assistant at EFG gave him an insight into the business of flying training and encouraged his aspiration to become a commercial pilot. His vision and determination is to take his place on the flight deck of an airliner within 6 –7 years.  It is clear that he has the driving ambition and attitude to realise this ambition.

Ray Watson, Chief Flying Instructor and Head of Training at EFG has taken Ben under his wing and provided an extensive briefing on the PPL course and the considerable personal commitment that it entails.  Subject to weather, he expects Ben to have completed all flying and ground examinations by the spring of 2018.

Andrew Walters, Chairman of Biggin Hill Airport, will be presenting Ben with his PPL wings brevet when he qualifies next year.