A FLYING enthusiast has taken his first steps to becoming a pilot thanks to the Royal Air Forces Association.
James Gordon who is an RAF Air Cadet at 492 Squadron (Solihull), had the unusual honour of flying an aircraft before he has driven a car.
The 18-year-old, from Solihull, was given a flying scholarship and completed a course of civilian flying lessons courtesy of the charity.
James received one of five 12-hour flying courses, which he undertook at South Warwickshire Flying School in Wellesbourne.
The RAF Association, which this year celebrated its 100th flying scholar, rewards candidates for their community fundraising and welfare work.
James said: “I’d like to thank everyone at the RAF Association for making my flying experience possible.
“This has been the best experience of my life so far, and has definitely reinforced my desire and commitment to become a pilot.
“I know for sure that, without this scholarship, I would have been unable to fly solo before I could drive a car – something that amazes me.”
The Royal Air Forces Association, which provides welfare support to the RAF family, launched its scholarship programme in 2008.
It is open to the RAF Air Cadets, which includes the Air Training Corps and the Combined Cadet Force, and the Girls Venture Corps Air Cadets.
In 2016, the scheme was broadened to include members of the Air Scouts/Air Explorer Scouts.
Molly Henson, who co-ordinated the 2018 scholarships, said: “We’re thrilled that James had the opportunity to get up in the air and undertake this training. It sounds like he had a great time.”