Flying scholarship launched for local teenagers

Mark Hillier talks about the scheme to pilots at the Boultbee Flight Academy in Chichester
Mark Hillier talks about the scheme to pilots at the Boultbee Flight Academy in Chichester

A new initiative that will see a teenager given free flying training has been launched in Chichester and Bognor Regis.

Pilots and aviation enthusiasts helped to launch the scheme to raise funds to pay for 15 hours’ training in a vintage de Havilland Chipmunk at the Boultbee Flight Academy in Chicheser.

Mark Hillier, one of the organisers, with Wing Commander Thomas Murray, who died shortly afterwards

Mark Hillier, one of the organisers, with Wing Commander Thomas Murray, who died shortly afterwards

Mark Hillier, one of the organisers, gave a presentation at the academy to explain the origins of the scheme.

Mr Hillier, a pilot and aviation author from Fontwell, said: “The scheme has been set up in memory of Wing Commander Thomas Murray, who was a resident of Hayling Island.

“He survived more than 78 sorties in Bomber Command during World War Two and was a true aviation enthusiast.

“The scheme has been funded partly by selling some of the Wing Commander’s memorabilia, a ferrous donation from RAFA Bognor, as well as many other smaller donations from pilots who want to see more younger people involved in aviation.”

The scheme has so far raised £5,000 and is ready for applications to be submitted. It is open to teenagers living in Chichester or Bognor who can demonstrate in a 1,000 word essay their interest in aviation and why they feel they should win the scholarship.

The selection will then become an interview process at Goodwood Airfield in early 2017. The rules of the scheme are at www.suitcasesvulturesandspies.yolasite.com

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