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Students’ ambition flying high


Nov 26, 2021

Career aspirations have been sent soaring after students took to the air as part of their studies.

Laurence Jackson School students took the controls of gliders above the glorious scenery of North Yorkshire in an initiative designed to steer them towards opportunities in aviation

Soaring to Success is run by the non-profit organisation The Air League which is working with the Department of Transport and Boeing to inspire the next generation of aviation specialists.

Year 9 and 10 boys and girls from Laurence Jackson School, Guisborough,

have been studying aerospace online for weeks and were invited to Yorkshire Gliding Club, at Sutton Bank, near Thirsk, for a morning of flying and workshops.

Students were given a briefing by chief instructor John Carter, Air League chief operating officer Caroline Smith and EasyJet pilot Sam Gervais.

After a safety briefing they then took to the skies, being towed airborne by Piper Cherokee tugs before reaching heights of 2,500ft in the skies of North Yorkshire, where they were able to get a bird’s eye view of the famous White Horse.

Academy careers education co-ordinator Helen Mitchinson said: “The Yorkshire Flying Club volunteers have been amazing and this experience could change students’ lives. Students were interested in engineering but didn’t really know what was out there. This has given them an insight into opportunities in the aviation industry which could spark an interest leading to very successful careers in aerospace.”

Year 10 student Taylor Thornton, 15, said: “Once we were in flat air it was brilliant. It was the first time I had ever been in a glider and the views were great. I’d like to work in commercial aircraft maintenance one day and will now look into this more closely.”

Fellow Year 10 student Emily Hutton, 14, added: “I’ve been looking into mechanical engineering for a while but now will definitely consider aviation. I really enjoyed my flight, you could see everything.”

Students heard that the Sutton Bank airfield was on the site of a bronze age fort and had been used for flying since the 1930s.

The Air League was originally founded in the early 1900s to combat the country’s apathy towards aviation. It now bridged the gap between Government, aviation and industry.

Students took part in a workshop in which they founded their own aviation firm of the future where they had to decide whether to carry passengers or cargo and design their own branding.

They also heard about the latest generation of more economical aircraft, developing drone technology, including urban air taxis and the impact of air travel on the environment.

Caroline told them: “It is going to be your generation that helps develop future aviation and travel and some of you may be the ones who help crack the problems we are facing today.”

By French