The charity fly2help organised a Scholarship for a group of students, in collaboration with London Oxford Airport, that cuminated in one of their number being awarded the bursary.
Ten students, aged between 14 and 18, took part earlier this year in the William Sharp Memorial Scholarship at London Oxford Airport.
The scholarship was run in memory of William Sharp, a pilot who died suddenly at the age of 24 while serving as a First Officer on Boeing 757s with Britannia Airways.
From an early age, William had a passion for flying and set his heart on a career as an airline pilot at a time when sponsorship and financial assistance were almost unobtainable. Through his own strenuous efforts, William acquired the necessary qualifications to enable him to pursue his longed-for career. He never forgot the passion, commitment, time and effort needed to succeed in a career in aviation and, until his untimely death, used much of his own time working tirelessly to help and encourage others with similar aspirations.
fly2help, a charity dedicated to helping others expereince the magic of flight, designed this memorial scholarship in partnership with William’s father, Dr Gordon Sharp, who himself had an exciting career as an aerospace doctor.
The week gave the students a valuable insight into the aviation industry, where they saw many different areas to help them with future career choices, including a visit to Rolls-Royce and Airbus at Filton, a day at RAF Brize Norton going behind the scenes, hands-on experience on aircraft simulators at CAE Oxford Aviation Academy, a visit to Airbus Helicopters, and behind the scenes at London Oxford Airport with a chance to see ATC at work.
At the end of the course, William Sharp’s family donated a bursary valued at £500 to the student who showed the greatest promise for a future career in aviation. This bursary was to be used towards flying lessons to enable the student to start logging hours, or to be put aside until the student started university or other aviation-related course.
The award was given to William Bowes-Smith, aged 15, who has ambitions to be a pilot. He had seen saw the advert for the Scholarship opportunity in Pilot magazine and had applied for his place. He has already used his prize money to start building his hours at Shropshire Aero Club at Sleap.
fly2help currently runs two Scholarships, with the second one this year to be held at Gloucestershire Airport in October. More scholarships are planned for the future. It is only with the support of airports like London Oxford and Gloucestershire Airport and all the aviation companies opening their doors for the organisation that these schemes can go ahead.
For more information go to www.fly2help.org/