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Congratulations Captain Thomson!

Congratulations to Captain Albert Thomson, our 2021 scholar who has just achieved his PPL! Here’s his story….

I’ve only gone and done it! No thanks to this typical British weather we have had. Today’s forecast, cloudy with a chance of meatballs. Bah!

About 18 months since I embarked on my mission to learn to fly at Sibson Airfield, I finally got here and even that was touch and go. My flying exam date was changed more than half a dozen times, not always being due to the weather. On the morning of my test, it was looking more than doubtful. Grey, overcast, low cloud. Full of optimism, I still headed up to the Airfield a good 2 hours before my test to get prepped and psyche myself up. The clouds broke, there was sun, there was blue sky, there were some clouds, but the cloud base was high enough. As I was about an hour into the test, the visibility started decreasing, instructed to take the Cessna 172 back in, my point of focus (a mast 2 miles from the Airfield) was barely even visible. Nonetheless, I still had a near perfect landing. I was going to have to complete the test the following day. Weather again was not on my side and eventually, I was able to take off into the skies over a week later to complete it. Success at last!

What’s next? I now have to go on and complete 10 hours flying solo before I can have anyone, in the cockpit beside me, then the sky’s the limit.

It’s been a long journey for me, especially being the impatient type, it felt like a lifetime getting here but I have loved every second.

I have to thank FSDP (Flying Scholarships for Disabled People) for giving me the kick start and opportunity to try this out (something I have always dreamed of), especially John and Debra (part of the FSDP Team) who took me under their wings (pardon the pun) and taught me the basic skills for flying (all 16 hours); BLESMA for the much needed funding support (it’s a costly business). I have to say worth every single penny as this has given me a renewed zest for life, increased my confidence 10-fold and added a few extra brain cells – lots of studying and those tests were not the easiest. And last, but not least, I have to thank my long suffering (but still here to tell the tale) Instructor, Fletch.

This….is not the end, this is only the beginning. I would really like to use my new skills, set up a Charity and take other Veterans up in the skies, so they too can experience the breath-taking freedom, that you can only get from a small cosy 4-seater plane like a Cessna 172. Even those budget airlines with their squashed together seats can’t compete with that!”

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