Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 11°C

min temp: 5°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.


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


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.


1 comment

A parade of puppets, live bands, fireworks and a packed Angel Hill, Abbey Gardens and town centre - the annual Bury St Edmunds Christmas Fayre

Tens of thousands of people swarmed to west Suffolk this weekend for what organisers expect to have been a record breaking Christmas Fayre.

Bad weather in Felixstowe.

Properties are at risk from flooding at Bawdsey Quay and Felixstowe Ferry, the Environment Agency has warned.

Former Ipswich Town manager Sir Bobby Robson

Tonight sees the close of this year’s Sir Bobby Robson online auction which is predicted to raise more than £100,000 for charity.

Ipswich Crown Court.

A 67-year-old west Suffolk garage owner who sexually assaulted and raped three schoolgirls more than 25 years ago has been jailed for 19 years.

One crew from Leiston attended the incident

A chimney fire in Knodishall was extinguished by firefighters from Leison this afternoon.

Vicky Ellis

More than £3,500 will be presented to the Colchester hospital chemotherapy unit in memory of a woman who died of cervical cancer aged just 25.

Annual Bury St Edmunds Christmas Fayre

Organisers behind one of Suffolk’s largest annual events, Bury St Edmunds’ Christmas fayre, are hoping today’s drizzly weather won’t dampen spirits on the last day of the event.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder

Property search

e.g. Oxford or NW3
Powered by Zoopla

Digital Edition

Read the East Anglian Daily Times e-edition today E-edition

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24