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A Basingstoke College of Technology (BCoT) student has recently achieved her pilot’s licence at the young age of 16, after flying a plane for the first time just over 18 months ago.
Eloeyse Cripps, from Basingstoke, recently completed her flight training at Popham Airfield where she passed her test flying an Ikarua C42 aircraft completely on her own.
Speaking about her first solo flight, Eloeyse said: “I was excited and nervous at the same time. I am so happy to get my wings. The flight was so good and I was shaking so much after landing. When I am in the sky, I feel like there’s no limit at all.”
After receiving a trial flight as a gift for her birthday, Eloeyse decided to apply for a flying scholarship alongside studying her GCSEs at The Costello School in Basingstoke. Out of 150 applicants, Eloeyse was offered a scholarship by local company Engineering Solutions to obtain her pilot’s licence.
Currently studying a Level 2 Automotive course at BCoT, Eloeyse is no stranger to the world of mechanics and hopes to transfer her skills learned in the workshop to become a flight instructor and engineer at Popham Airfield.
Anthony Bravo, Principal of BCoT, added: “I would like to congratulate Eloeyse on this fantastic achievement. To obtain a pilot’s licence at the age of 16 is remarkable and as a college we will do all we can to support Eloeyse as she continues in her career in aviation.”
Matthew Myatt, Co-Director of Airbourne Aviation where Eloeyse undertook her training, added: “She is the youngest person to ever be sent solo from Popham, and she plans on becoming an instructor to teach other young people how to fly. She’ll be flying to France before she can drive to Tesco!”
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Photo courtesy of Matthew Myatt.