THERE was a champagne celebration at Lydd Aero Club last week when student Fred Thomas made his first solo flight after 11 hours' tuition.
Instructor John Tindall was on hand to present businessman Fred with the regulation bottle of bubbly and certificate marking the occasion.
Mr Thomas said: "The weather has not been great recently, but that was beautiful and we flew a few circuits before John asked me if I'd like to do one on my own.
" I didn't have time to be nervous and before I knew it I was in the air. I completed the circuit and made a good landing. The Tower came on the radio and congratulated me on going solo for the first time. It was a wonderful moment and I will remember it for the rest of my life. "
Mr Thomas intends to complete the course to gain his private pilot's license and join one of Lydd Aero Club's organised flyouts to France.
The Aero Club, based at Lydd, has members throughout Kent and Sussex. As well as pilot training, it offers trial flight programmes allowing would-be pilots to take the controls for the first time.
For more information, call 01797 320734 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org