Jack Petchey Foundation
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Stories we are proud of

Young person wins Achievement Award for breaking a flying record!

A young person can be nominated for any achievement big or small, whether it be for learning a new skill or improving their grades at school. But sometimes our Achievement Award winners are nominated for record-breaking feats of achievement! This is the case for 15-year-old Xavier (Xav) Overbury-Tapper who attends the Stanway School in Essex. Over the past year, Xav has been learning to fly and was legally allowed to fly solo for the first time on his fourteenth birthday in October 2016. The legal age that a young person can fly a glider plane alone was only recently changed from 16 to 14 years old, making Xav the UK’s youngest solo glider pilot!

Xav has spent his weekends getting up at the crack of dawn, to ensure that he was the first person on the flying list at the Essex and Suffolk Gliding Club. He has also worked at the club voluntarily to help subsidise his flights and fund his passion for flying.

Xav said his first solo flight was ‘pretty scary’ but that his second flight the next day, against the backdrop of a spectacular sunset, was ‘amazing’. This is a remarkable achievement and Xav deserves to be congratulated for all his hard work. 


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