March 7 2014 Latest news:
Wednesday, December 18, 2013
Flying at 2,000ft, taking in the breathtaking views across Norfolk and Suffolk is a dream for many.
But now, with the help of a 76-year-old pilot and an RAF aircraft engineer, taking to the skies has become all the more accessible.
The pair, who between them have more than 65 years of flying experience, have launched a new flying school in Beccles – Mid Anglia Microlights – with the aim of offering people a simple path into flying.
Gary Taylor, 44, an aircraft engineer at RAF Marham, said: “We want to break the barrier. People think learning to fly is really difficult and expensive but we want to show people it is easy to grasp and you can learn to fly on a normal job.
“There’s something amazing about taking people up and showing them the world from a different perspective.
“I’ve spent years with my own aircraft taking people up for fun. It is one of the most satisfying things and we want to share the experience.”
A microlight is a simplified type of aircraft, limited to two seats and a weight of 450 kilos.
The flying school has been set up by Mr Taylor and Anthony Preston, a former RAF pilot, aerobatics instructor and microlight factory test pilot, who went on his first solo flight at the age of 17. The pair met at a flying school in north Norfolk and realised there was a gap in the market for microlight lessons in Suffolk.
Mr Taylor said: “This area doesn’t have any microlight schools. There is no one else offering what we do. There was a window of opportunity and it seemed to make sense.
“It seems to be going well already bearing in mind it’s off season at the moment. We have had people randomly contacting us and they have walked away so enthusiastic.”
Both instructors teach to a syllabus set down by The British Microlight Aircraft Association and you can learn to fly from the age of 14, although you cannot get a flying licence until the age of 17.
Mr Taylor added: “We take you from never having sat in an aircraft to having your own pilot licence. There is no limit to the age you can learn to fly.”
Mid Anglia Microlights operates from Beccles Airfield. An hour-long lesson costs £125 and 30-minute trial flights are available for £65.
Visit www.mamicrolight.co.uk or call 07815 074067.