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Trust Funds Disabled People to Fly

Published: 08 May 2018


Two members from Flying Scholarships for Disabled People (FSDP) have received a combined £20,000 grant from the RAF Charitable Trust, so that they can learn to fly. 

FSDP was founded in memory of Group Captain Sir Douglas Bader - the legendary WW2 flying ace who lost both legs in an air accident but persisted, and succeeded, in his efforts to resume his flying career with the RAF. 

The charity supports scholars with a range of disabilities and illnesses and has helped more than 400 men and women experience the freedom of the air, learn new skills and regain their confidence.

Kathryn Hughes and Susan Couchman received their scholarships in March after attending the Selection Board at RAF Cranwell in Lincolnshire and have begun their training with Bristol Aero Club at Gloucestershire Airport. 

RAF Charitable Trust director, Justine Morton said: "We are proud to be able to work with FSDP and to support them in providing such fantastic opportunities. We wish everyone involved many happy flights!"

The scholarships, which cost £12,000 each, pay for up to four weeks' aviation training at flying schools across the UK and up to 21 hours' flying tuition in either a PA-28 or a Microlight aircraft and associated ground school.

All graduates are invited to a special ceremony at the Air Tattoo, where they are presented with a scholarship certificate and are welcomed to return to the airshow the following year, where they will be awarded their 'pilot's wings'.

Kathryn said: "Receiving the flying scholarship is a great honour; it's great being surrounded by people with similar interests and disabilities.

"I'm looking forward to learning how to fly and I hope to inspire others in doing so."

Susan added: "Receiving the scholarship was a wonderful surprise! I didn't think that I would stand a chance but the scheme has provided a great confidence boost."

"I haven't been to the Air Tattoo before but can't wait - it will be a wonderful occasion."

“It was an epic spectacle, as magical as anything you've ever seen in the West End, and as loud as anything you've ever heard at Knebworth.”

Jeremy Clarkson, Television Presenter

“All the thrills, excitement and noise of a Grand Prix, but in the air!”

Jenson Button, Formula 1 Racing Driver

“Probably the most complete air show Iíve ever been to!”

Al Worden, Apollo 15 Astronaut

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