ABOVE: To date, nearly a dozen scholarship students have soloed in G-ANTE

The Sywell, Northamptonshire-based Thomas Castle Aviation Heritage Scholarship (TCAHS) trust has announced that applications for its annual scholarships, now in their fourth year, will open on May 1 2024.

Centred around the 1941 de Havilland Tiger Moth G-ANTE, affectionately known as ‘Tom’s Tiger,’ the THACS trust was formed in 2019 by Ian Castle following the loss of his son, Thomas, who was ‘passionate about all aspects of vintage aviation and aircraft restoration’. The pair worked together to help rebuild G-ANTE before Tom gained his PPL and went on to solo the Tiger Moth. “The Trust came about because Thomas was so enthusiastic about all aspects of aviation, but particularly vintage aviation. The thought that came to mind was to form a trust around ‘Tango-Echo’, which was effectively Thomas’ aeroplane, and to let people around his age have the opportunity to fly a vintage aircraft,” explained Ian.

Despite describing the Tiger Moth as ‘a culture shock from modern light aircraft,’ it ‘fits the purpose it was designed for,’ highlights TCAHS. ‘It’s easy to fly, but hard to fly well’.

Five scholarships are open to PPL holders aged between 18 and 35 who want to get involved with vintage aircraft, with Ian adding: “We’re looking for people who want to take this sport or this industry forward like Thomas wanted to. It’s vitally important to foster that enthusiasm in people and encourage them to look after these aeroplanes and keep them flying”.

An upcoming event at Sywell aerodrome on April 27 will launch this year’s scholarships, with visitors welcome by air and road. Applications will open on May 1 via the trust’s website, with entries to be received by May 31, and more information can be obtained by contacting trust pilot Danny Williams on 07597 159961.