Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 11°C

min temp: 3°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Needham Market: 14-year-old Jordan Dean becomes one of Britain’s youngest ever solo gliders

12:00 19 November 2012

Jordan Dean has become one of the first 14 year olds to undertake a solo gliding flight after a change in the law reduced the age limit from 16 to 14.

Jordan Dean has become one of the first 14 year olds to undertake a solo gliding flight after a change in the law reduced the age limit from 16 to 14.

Archant

A 14-YEAR-OLD boy has become one of Britain’s youngest ever solo gliders thanks to a change in the law.

shares

Just days ago the country changed its age limit for solo flights from 16 to 14, falling in line with much of the rest of Europe.

And Jordan Dean, from Needham Market, has become one of the first 14-year-olds in the country to take to the air on his own when he had his maiden unaccompanied mission at Wattisham Airfield.

The teenager’s father James Dean and grandfather Gwyn Thomas are keen gliders and former instructors.

Following many flights with them since an early age Jordan, who has a younger brother Luke, six, had been keen to get up in the sky on his own.

He said: “I have been flying forever - it’s something that I really enjoy and it’s a fun hobby to have.

“It did cross my mind that it was all down to me when I did my first solo flight, but I just got on with it. It was fun with no nagging instructor in the back. It was quite an experience.” The Stowmarket High School pupil, a member of the Anglian Gliding Club at Wattisham, said he had been trying to convince his friends to join him for a flight but they were not very enthusiastic and had been put off by the cost.

He added: “Money-wise, it can be a little expensive but considering what I’m doing it’s relatively cheap compared to powered flying.

“And I’m one of the first 14-year-olds to take a solo flight, which is cool.

“My plan is to keep flying and eventually pilot a single seat aircraft - they tend to fly a little bit longer and are a bit nicer to fly.”

Jordan’s father James is a former instructor at Wattisham and stills works at the base in the Integrated Logistics Operation Centre (ILOC) providing logistic support for the WAH-64 attack helicopter force in peacetime and operations, including Afghanistan.

He said: “I started when I was his age and I went solo on my 16th birthday. Since then I have become an instructor and then chief instructor at Anglia Gliding Club. He’s been flying over the last few years but the legal age of doing this in the UK has been 16 and they recently changed the rules and the new regulations came in, putting us in line with the rest of the EU.”

He said Jordan’s flight was certainly a first for Wattisham and possible for the UK.

shares

1 comment

Jonathan Glenister, who has been reported missing

Police are searching for a 20-year-old man from Haverhill who has not been seen since Saturday evening.

The future of RAF Lakenheath will be central to election battle in West Suffolk on May 7

Forest Heath District Council covers a large rural area, stretching from the Cambridgeshire border and Newmarket in the south to the town of Brandon on the Norfolk border.

Blackburn v Ipswich

Ipswich Town have sold almost 2,000 tickets so far for Saturday’s crucial away trip to Blackburn Rovers, and there are still some remaining.

Aerial shot of Ixworth.

Four vehicles collided at a roundabout on the A1088 in Ixworth.

Have you seen any of the livev TV debates ahead of the General Election?

It’s nearly time to cast your vote and with just a week to go before the country goes to the polls, we want to know your current views on several key issues.

Debenham village parish sign.

The leader of a Suffolk village authority has questioned the electoral process after a representative could not stand for re-election due to citizenship issues.

Labour will retain control of Ipswich

Ipswich might be one of the most marginal constituencies in the country, but there is no question about who will win this year’s local elections in the borough, writes Paul Geater.

Police are investigating the incident

Two women have been arrested in connection with the theft of a woman’s purse in Colchester.

Aerial shot of Harwich, Essex.

Business and home owners are urged to be vigilant following a spate of burglaries in north Essex.

Concern over decrease in police officers

Fears for the future of Suffolk policing and officer welfare have been raised again after it emerged the county lost nearly 7% of its officers last year.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages