Budding pilot Alex beats out thousands to earn place at prestigious aviation training centre
26th January 2016

A budding pilot at a Colwyn Bay school has reached the final stages of a prestigious training scheme.

Alex Sharples, an upper sixth pupil at Rydal Penrhos, has made it to stage three of the Virgin Atlantic Training Programme, beating out more than 4,000 other applicants.

This feat ensures he is guaranteed a place at CTC Aviation, regarded as the top flying school in the country.

Things could get even better for the 18 year-old in the near future, as he is waiting to see if he has made stage four of the programme, which would mean that Virgin Atlantic would pay for his training and Alex would be guaranteed a job with the firm upon completion of his studies.

Only 130 applicants made it to stage three from 4,400 hopefuls, with just 60 places up for grabs at the highly sought after fourth stage.

The Rydal Penrhos pupil will learn of his fate at the end of February after undergoing a number of tests including Maths, aptitude and a group interview.

Alex said: “I am waiting very nervously to see if I have made it to stage four, but I have already beaten the odds to get this far and I have worked very hard, so hopefully it will be enough.

“If I don’t get in it just means I will have to finance the course myself, and I can’t wait to get started in October.”

The 18 month course will see Alex spend six months initial training in Southampton, before spending the final year in New Zealand.

This culminates in a lifelong dream for the Rydal Penrhos pupil, who gained his Private Pilot’s License last summer.

Acting head Roger McDuff, said: “This is fantastic news and everyone at Rydal Penrhos would like to congratulate Alex on this incredible achievement.

“He has worked immensely hard to get to this stage, and he is now ever closer to reaching what has been a long term goal.

“Everyone at the school is immensely proud of his accomplishments and are confident he can go on to bigger and better things in the future.”


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