Schoolgirl flies a glider solo on her 14th birthday

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Deeside Gliding Club is proud to announce that member Madeline Draper of Kirriemuir flew a glider solo on the morning of her 14th birthday.

Maddy said afterwards: “It was an amazing experience, I’m happy it’s over and I’m delighted.”

Her Father said: “Many thanks for all the support and training from the club to get training done. I’m proud and really pleased for her.

“Now we are off to light the candles for her cake.”

Maddy is just one of the many young pilots that Deeside Gliding Club has trained and sent solo under the club’s juniors scheme, which includes reduced membership fees and free glider time for all juniors.

Further sponsorship is available for those juniors who show dedication.

Others have gone solo when aged 14 but Maddy is the first member to do it on her birthday at the Aboyne-based club.

Deeside Gliding Club is open to all, and operates all year round, seven days per week from May to late October (and can operate on demand midweek over the winter).

On Tuesday, December 27, several club gliders were up to 8,000 feet and one (with an early start) flew from Aboyne to Dallas (near Elgin) and Aviemore and back.

You can learn to fly with Deeside Gliding Club from any age, although age 12 is probably best, and over the summer the club has had several pupils in their late 80s.

If you are healthy enough to drive a car (even if you don’t have a licence) and weigh less than 105kg, you can fly with Deeside Gliding Club.

Deeside Gliding Club is located two miles west of Aboyne on the A93 and can be contacted by calling David Innes on 01339 885 339.