Young trainee pilot flies solo

Beth Moran with Tristan Loraine
Beth Moran with Tristan Loraine

As part of a new documentary currently being filmed, Beth Moran, 20, from Horsham, successfully completed her first solo flight at Brighton City Airport (at Shoreham) on Wednesday June 8.

After many hours of flight and ground training with Sussex Flying Club, chief flying instructor James Crabbe decided Beth was ready to fly on her own and complete her historic first solo flight.

Beth completed one circuit, taking off and landing on runway 20 just before lunchtime.

Beth said: “It was the most incredible experience.

“I would live it all over again and it was so nice to be joined by my parents and close friends just after the event.”

The new documentary, entitled Learning to Fly, will follow Beth Moran on her journey to obtain a Private Pilot’s Licence (PPL) and also sees her under take a wide selection of different aviation experiences.

Last month Niagara Helicopters took Beth on her first helicopter flight. An incredible flight around Niagara Falls in Canada.

Tristan Loraine, the documentary director and retired British Airways Captain said: “Beth’s first solo flight went really well and was filmed by four onboard cameras and from the control tower.

“After the flight Beth had a great surprise, she was met by her parents Mr/Mrs Moran and some of her closest friends.”

The PPL course consists of 45 hours of flight training, a minimum requirement set out by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), nine exams that all demand a 75% pass mark and finally a flying test.

All of this will happen with the Sussex Flying Club, based at Brighton City Airport.

Mr. Jonathan Candelon, MD at Brighton City Airport said: “It was great to see Beth complete her first solo at Brighton City Airport. It’s been interesting to watch her progress over the last few weeks.

“Beth joins thousands of pilots that have completed their first solo here, since the airport opened in 1910.”

Beth had her initial trial lesson in December 2015 and started her training earlier in March this year with Sussex Flying Club on a Piper Warrior III aircraft.

The Learning to Fly documentary will be completed later this year and is being supported by: Sussex Flying Club, Brighton City Airport, Pooleys Flight Equipment, Garmin, BOSE, Glider FX, Centreline Aviation Medical Services., Trig Avionics, Revo, Niagara Helicopters, Aviation Leathercraft, Sim-Fly and the British Women Pilots’ Association.

More information on the film, still images, regular video updates and details on how to learn to fly can be found on the Sussex Flying Club website and social media at:, @BethPilot and