Craig's walking on air...but at just 17 he hasn't learned to drive on road yet!Byline: Mike Blackburn
High-flying Stockton teenager Craig Fryer successfully took to the skies in a pounds 100,000 powered glider - and he can't even drive a car yet!
Craig is one of three Stockton Air Cadets Air Cadets could refer to:
Cadet Louise Gates became the first in her squadron to be chosen for and complete a paragliding course.
Meanwhile Craig, a 17-year-old corporal, and Sergeant Matt Coulson, 18, both flew solo on a weekend gliding course at RAF Topcliffe RAF Topcliffe (IATA: N/A, ICAO: EGXZ) is a Royal Air Force station in North Yorkshire. It is a satellite station of RAF Linton-on-Ouse.
Topcliffe opened in September 1940 as a bomber station in RAF Bomber Command and was home to 77 and 102 Squadrons flying after being chosen for a gliding scholarship.
The achievement was even greater for Craig who completed his solo flight Solo Flight was a flight simulator game for the Commodore 64 and Atari 8-bit microcomputers, released in 1983. It was later released for the IBM PC. The game was created by noted game designer Sid Meier, and published by MicroProse Software, Inc. before he could legally drive a car.
The course, which would have cost too much for the cadets to complete as a civilian, was free with all equipment provided.
Over consecutive weekends the pair learned about the powered gliders, take-offs, landing and safety drills to gain their blue wings.
Matt and Craig were then given the opportunity to fly a complete circuit solo.
Bad weather meant the pair could only complete a "ghosted solo" with a qualified glider pilot alongside them - but they still gained their silver wings.
Craig, who hopes to be a commercial pilot, said: "I found it hard to taxi down the runway but I got the hang of it in the end. Overall it was a spectacular experience."
Matt, who is joining the RAF later this year, said: "It was great."
Louise, 16, who spent two weeks in Wales Wales, Welsh Cymru, western peninsula and political division (principality) of Great Britain (1991 pop. 2,798,200), 8,016 sq mi (20,761 sq km), west of England; politically united with England since 1536. The capital is Cardiff. at the services paragliding centre, said: "I never dreamed I would get a chance to do something like this. It was a once in a lifetime experience."
In the past year more than 40 Stockton cadets have been gliding and three gained gliding scholarships. Stockton Air Cadets are currently recruiting adult staff over 21 and cadets aged between 13 1/2 and 18. For more information call 01642 645222.