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Meet the teenager who is learning to become a pilot from home amid Covid-19 lockdown

PUBLISHED: 12:47 09 May 2020 | UPDATED: 16:47 09 May 2020

Aoife Lowe-Davies, who is training from home to become a pilot. Picture: Aoife Lowe-Davies/PA

Aoife Lowe-Davies, who is training from home to become a pilot. Picture: Aoife Lowe-Davies/PA

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When Dave Grohl wrote the Foo Fighters hit Learn to Fly, it is unlikely he pictured pilots doing so without leaving their bedrooms.

Aoife Lowe-Davies, who is training from home to become a pilot. Picture: Aoife Lowe-Davies/PAAoife Lowe-Davies, who is training from home to become a pilot. Picture: Aoife Lowe-Davies/PA

However, this is precisely what 19-year-old Aoife Lowe-Davies is having to do amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The teenager, from Norwich, was due to start an 18-month pilot’s course in Cork, Ireland in March harbouring an ambition of becoming a commercial pilot.

But with lockdown restrictions coming in just before she was due to relocate she feared she may have to put the aspiration she pulled out of university for on hold.

However, instead the course has been able to continue remotely, with Miss Lowe-Davies instead carrying out her studies from home, her learning consisting of Zoom lectures and seminars, online programmes and lots of reading.

Aoife Lowe-Davies, who is training from home to become a pilot. Picture: Aoife Lowe-Davies/PAAoife Lowe-Davies, who is training from home to become a pilot. Picture: Aoife Lowe-Davies/PA

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Miss Lowe-Davies said: “I’m perhaps not like some other pilots, I didn’t dream of doing it my whole life and I don’t have aviation in my blood, but I remember going to a careers fair a few years ago and it was the only thing that really appealed to me.

“I was studying maths and economics at the University of Newcastle and wasn’t particularly enjoying it, so decided that it would be the right time to pursue it. When this all happened, it never occurred to me to put it off, I had to do it now.”

At the moment, the practical elements of the course have been put on hold, but she has still been able to take on the theoretical elements of learning to be a pilot, from studying air law to meteorology.

Her and 14 other students make up the Atlantic Flight Training, which sees her study from home from 9am until 4pm five days a week.

Once things return to usual she will travel to Cork to complete the more practical parts of the course, which will include flight simulators and getting behind the controls with instructors.

She said: “I have flown once before, my parents bought me a flight experience for my birthday a few years ago and I went up in a little Piper plane. It was incredible.

“I was definitely worried that I would have to defer until next year, so I’m just glad that hasn’t happened.”


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