Ben Akhtar (right) with EFG’s CFI & Head of Training Ray Watson preparing for his first training flight last week.

18-year old Ben Akhtar, winner of the Biggin Hill Airport award as part of the Nick Davidson Memorial Flying Scholarship scheme, has begun his training for a Private Pilot Licence (PPL) with the EFG school.

Ben was selected as the 2017 Biggin Hill Airport flying scholar from 85 local applicants. His PPL course will provide forty-five hours of dual and solo flying as well as tuition on nine ground school subjects, including Air Law and Navigation.

During his years at Oxted School, Ben took up paragliding, becoming a junior member of the British team and competing throughout the UK and Europe. He has also tried his hand at Paramotoring, making a video for social media about his exploits. Ben also joined the Biggin Hill squadron of the Air Training Corps, reaching the rank of Cadet Flight Sergeant.

Holiday work as an assistant at EFG gave him an insight into the business of flying training and inspired him to become a commercial pilot. His ambition is to take his place on the flight deck of an airliner within 6-7 years.

Ray Watson, Chief Flying Instructor and Head of Training at EFG, has provided Ben with an extensive briefing on the PPL course and the considerable personal commitment that it entails. Subject to weather, he expects Ben to have completed all flying and ground examinations by the spring of 2018.

Andrew Walters, Chairman of Biggin Hill Airport, will be presenting Ben with his PPL wings brevet when he qualifies next year.