Alan and Laura win Nick Davidson PPL scholarships

2018 Nick Davidson flying scholarships

Two young people have been awarded the two Nick Davidson Memorial Flying Scholarships for 2018, out of 220 candidates who applied. They are Alan Selleck-Emery and Laura McCann. They will receive a full training course to PPL level with EFG Flying School based at Biggin Hill.

Alan Selleck-Emery, aged 24, faced life-changing events when his father died when Alan was seven years old.  He and his sister were taken into foster care with a family living near Rochester Airport.

As a boy, he spent many hours watching aircraft movements to and from the airport.  As a teenager, he volunteered at weekends to help at the local flight school where he became involved with booking flying lessons, refuelling and cleaning aircraft and learning about maintenance requirements.

Alan is now training in accountancy and tax with a local firm and he has part-time work at Rochester Airport where he is now an Operations Officer.

Alan impressed the selection panel with his strong determination to succeed, his knowledge of the industry, and his numerical and analytical skills.

Laura McCann, aged 25, has won the Biggin Hill Airport Award within the scholarship. Her ambition is to be a bush pilot working in remote areas of Africa, Australia or New Zealand.

Laura spent three years as an RAF Reservist where she was awarded the Beryl Markham Trophy for determination and commitment. She recently joined the staff of London Biggin Hill Airport as a handling agent and member of the team at the airport’s passenger terminal.

Captain Gary Merchant, chairman of the selection panel, said, “Most of the 220 applicants were impressive with their presentations and the panel was faced with s difficult task. Alan and Laura were chosen because they showed comprehension of the hard road ahead, the sustainability of their plans, the level of their current knowledge of the industry and a strong commitment to succeed. Also, they showed good aptitude in the ground and flight tests.”

Winner of the first scholarship in 2014 was John Harrison from Horsham who is now in the final stages of qualifying for his Air Transport Pilot’s Licence. The 2015 winner, Steven Inch, joined the RAF in 2016 and is now on a training course flying the Tucano.

Jack Hawkins, scholarship winner in 2016, is working at Duxford Airfield in Cambridgeshire where he is gradually building his flying hours towards his professional licence.

Ben Akhtar, winner of the first Biggin Hill Airport Award in 2017, has  completed all his dual flying with his instructor and successfully passed the ground examinations. He now has his solo flights and landing away to complete. With current progress, he will receive his PPL at the Festival of Flight in August.

Co-sponsors supporting the scholarships are Biggin Hill Airport, Shipping & Airlines, Adams Aviation Supply Company, Pooleys Flight Equipment and Falcon Flying Services that own and operate the EFG School.

London Biggin Hill Airport


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