You may have seen on the news this week about Jack Jenner-Hall. The teenager, who has just turned 14 years old, from Burston in Norfolk, has just made history by becoming the UK’s youngest ever pilot, flying 3000 feet in the air for 45 minutes in a glider.
He first started flying with the Norfolk Gliding Club, who are based at Tibenham Airfield, Norfolk, when he was just 11 years old. Jack says that it’s helped him realise one of his goals to fly a plane on his own.
This young flying talent, who initially pursued gliding as a hobby, is also now looking to qualify in glider aerobatics, as well as taking further steps towards his ultimate goal of becoming a commercial airline pilot when he’s older.
Gliding is a fantastic introduction to the joy of flying and aviation, particularly if you’ve got a young son, daughter, niece or nephew who’s displaying an interest in or aspirations for a career in flying.
At FlyDays, it’s one of our prime flying experiences that we offer to young aviation enthusiasts, as the minimum age to take part is 14 or 16 years old on our Gliding packages. Gliding offers many benefits that other flying days don’t.
In his interview with BBC News, Jack himself said that his mum was absolutely terrified at the thought of him being thousands of feet up in the air in, what is on the surface at least, quite a flimsy looking aircraft. But what makes a glider unique is that there’s no engine powering it as with conventional planes or aircraft.
This obviously has one immediate benefit, in that you’re not struggling to try and hear yourself think over the top of a rattling plane engine, allowing you the opportunity to really embrace and enjoy the feel of being airborne. But their streamline design is also very safe, and offers another mark in its favour.
Gliders rely on the four forces of lift, drag, weight and thrust to keep them in the air. And as young pilots are also accompanied by an expert adult instructor, they’re also very safe, as they get to grips with piloting and handling it up in the air for as long as they can.
And just like Jack has shown with his gliding success, what can start as a unique day out could even turn into a hobby and maybe even a budding career in flying. They’re also a unique gift idea to mark any junior aviator’s special occasions, such as birthdays, Christmas or even passing their exams.
To view FlyDays’ full range of Gliding packages, and book for these via dates or our open gift vouchers, head to our dedicated Gliding page.