HIGH flying university student Keira Chapman had an impossible dream - to get her private pilot's licence before she was 20.

But with the backing of flying orgnisations and charities she has achieved her aim - and now wants to spread the word to other hopeful youngsters.

Keira, from Bedale, knew she would never be able to afford the £7,000 to £10,000 it would have cost for the 45 hours of flying time, plus exams.

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However, with the backing of the Air Cadets, the Air League and the Royal Air Forces Association, she completed her private pilot's licence this summer.

Now she is at Liverpool University studying an aerospace engineering degree and looking forward to furthering her flying career.

"There was absolutely no way I would have been able to do this without their help through scholarships," said Keira.

"I live near RAF Leeming and have always been interested in planes, I joined the Air Cadets at 645 Volunteer Gliding Squadron at RAF Topcliffe and carried on from there.

" I would just like to increase the awareness of the organisations and charities that helped me in a bid to get more people involved.

"The Air League and RAFA both sponsored me for 12 flying hours each which I used at South Warwickshire Flying School in Wellesbourne. I managed to fit both scholarships around an Air Cadet Navigation Pilot Training School, which was a further 8 hours in the air at RAF Church Fenton.

"I had a fantastic summer flying around the country and was taught by some of the best instructors."

She added: "It just shows what can be done, anyone who is interested just get out there and pursue what you want, the opportunities are available." 

Further information is available at airleague.co.uk or rafa.org.uk