A man from Bushey has become one of the youngest flying instructors in the UK.
Ben Hilton first fell in love with aviation when his dad would take him to air shows and RAF museums. Watching the planes flying over encouraged him to learn to fly.
Ben took to the skies as early as 12 years old and started training for his pilots’ license whilst studying his GCSEs.
It took Ben two years to become fully trained whilst juggling school life. He can now fly microlight planes unaided with up to two passengers.
Ben said: “It was hard work. On my first cross country solo flight I was forced to land in a field in Colemans Green. Being so young it was a challenge but it’s very fun.”
Now aged 20, Ben then went one step further. He spent three weeks of intense training in November and December last year at Gap Tallard, Southern France, to become a flying instructor.
Ben said: “It monstly consisted of learning how to teach students and there was a lot of flying involved. My instructor was telling me that your students will try to kill you but don’t take it personally.”
To become a fully trained instructor, Ben also had to pass an exam. He travelled to York on January 25, to complete his test, which he passed with flying colours. Ben now awaits his license from the Civil Aviation Authority.
Ben currently works for Flight By Light at Elstree Aerodrome which offers flying lessons, trial flights and a simulator experience. Once Ben receives his license, he is one of the youngest people in the UK to train other pilots in light aircrafts.