• Flynn Hamilton

Flying to School

Ben Akhtar is an 18 year old with a difference.

In November 2013, aged 14 and inspired by his love for the skies and everything that flies, Ben qualified as the UK’s Youngest Paraglider.

One damp, grey morning, he was struck by a yearning to be in the sky rather than on the road. He needed to escape the repetitive nature of the school bus and do the school run differently. What followed was three years of planning, and an enormous amount of negotiation and hard work, with an amazing result. Ben flew to school.

This year, just before leaving school for good, Ben finally achieved his goal, and arrived for lessons by Paramotor! He left from home, and flew South over the North Downs and the valley surrounding Oxted, where he goes to school. Flying with a support pilot alongside him for company, Ben covered around 25 kilometres (15.5 miles), cruising at an average height of 1,000 feet (304 metres) above ground level. His school run on this particular morning lasted for 40 minutes.

Ben hopes that his flight can help to inspire more people, especially young people, to take to the skies - the flight was filmed by a professional crew in order to help increase awareness of Paramotoring and Paragliding. As well as inspiring others to fly, Ben is hoping to pursue a life of flight. He is currently studying for his Private Pilot’s License, as well as organising a gap year based around his passion. He has represented the British Paragliding Team, and hopes to continue representing them in competitions all over the world. Flying to school was just the start!

Photos by: www.Pinyata.com

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