A teaching assistant from West Chiltington is the first ever aspiring British pilot to win a prestigious scholarship from a large German company.
Jacob Reynolds, 20, who attended The Weald School in Billingshurst and now works there, won the Sennheiser ‘Live Your Dream’ scholarship for aviation earlier this summer.
Through the scholarship, he has been given a top of the range headset, £1,000 funding towards his flight training, and study equipment to help him prepare for his private pilot exams.
“It felt amazing to win, I couldn’t believe it when I actually received the scholarship,” he said.
“It gives people like myself hope that there is a way to help fund your flight training if you don’t have the finance for it.”
On Thursday July 11 at the Goodwood Festival of Speed Jacob had an interview at the Sky Stand, one of the many opportunities for publicity which he has been given since receiving the scholarship.
After the interview, he said: “It was quite surreal seeing myself on the big screen above Lord March’s house, but it was a lot of fun.”
Jacob started his flying career in Portsmouth at the age of 13, flying gliders with the occasional opportunity to pilot powered aircraft.
Later, he moved to Parham School of Aviation where he began learning aerobatic gliding in order to push himself further and increase his precision flying skills.
He now regularly flies powered aircraft at Goodwood Aviation, an established flight training centre which began teaching in 1940, and says that thanks to the ‘Live Your Dream’ scholarship he is able to take steps forward in fulfilling his ambition of becoming a professional pilot.
“Goodwood Aviation is a fantastic flight training school, great aircraft, great instructors and state of the art equipment, so its a great place to start,” Jacob said.
He said he was thankful for the scholarship, without which he might not be able to fulfil his dream of becoming a professional pilot.
He explained: “If I went into aviation without this scholarship, I wouldn’t have received the publicity or the mentors I have who help me through and answer all of my questions.
“I’m in constant contact with my mentor Derek Spicer.”
Jacob is very excited for his first solo flight later this week.