The Sky's the Limit

Many of you will know Ben Rourke from The Anchor, where he has worked during school holidays and weekends over the last three years, starting as ‘glass collector’. It’s been a crucial role for him in more ways than one and the money he has earned there has enabled him to follow his passion - flying.

Ben has had this passion for planes since he was a very young, when he travelled all over the country spotting and taking pictures with his Uncle Mark, a Royal Navy mechanic.  When he was 15 he joined the Air Cadets, hoping to satisfy his interest in flight and travel in general, but he soon realized that a military life was not something he wanted to pursue. Instead he began helping at the gliding club in return for flights with qualified pilots.

Ben is a very focused and driven young man, and his ambition to learn to fly whilst still at school meant that he still managed to take on as much work as he could at The Anchor, enabling him to start saving. Eventually he began the first steps towards his Private Pilot’s License (PPL), taking lessons at Beccles Airfield. Lessons start at £160 an hour, so he had to wash a lot of glasses to get airborne.

To supplement his savings, he and a friend began to develop a media business, working on websites and creating apps like a room service app that aims to help hotels to allow their guests access room service using their personal devices. All this whilst studying for Physics, Math’s and Geography A Levels, blogging and writing a book about his journey.

Last year Ben heard about The Honourable Company of Air Pilots Private Pilot Licence Scholarship and submitted an application. He wasn’t successful, but true to form he was undeterred, and carried on with his self funded lessons at Beccles and reapplied this year. Each year the scholarship funds a few lucky individuals to undertake 45 hours of flying lessons, with the aim of guaranteeing that they will be ready to pass the exams and gain the PPL.

Ben was called to interview in London, one of the youngest to be selected, and found himself in front of a panel of eminent pilots and instructors. Having had to submit an application form, Ben had included all his personal skills and work experience, as well as details about his flying lessons. He came home expecting to have to wait to hear whether he was in with a chance, but the next day he received an email with the news confirming he was one of the lucky few to be awarded the scholarship. He’ll be able to start training once his exams are over.

Ben’s enthusiasm for life, as well as his determination to succeed was what secured him one of those valuable scholarships and his family couldn’t be more proud. We are all so excited by his success that we will be following up on his progress with reports on his training and result here on the News pages. 

A real good news story for Walberswick!

By News ed on May 16th, 2017

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