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Culdrose glider pilot wins National Gliding award

7 April 2016
A young Glider Pilot from Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose picked up one of the country’s top Gliding awards at the British Gliding Association annual dinner.

Seahawk Gliding Club’s Jordan Richards was awarded the Phillip Lever Trophy as the Most Promising Junior Pilot 2015, as well as being selected for the British Junior Development Squad for the 2017 World Junior Championships.

“It was a tremendous surprise to be selected for the award and it will be a great honour to have the potential opportunity to represent my country at the 2017 World Championships,” said Jordan who comes from Redruth.

“I’m really looking forward to training with some of the best young pilots in the country and the chance to fly in some really good soaring conditions abroad.”

This is a tremendous achievement by Jordan, a real feather in his cap and inspiration to the other junior members of the club.

Lieutenant Commander Chris Bryning

Jordan started gliding in May 2009, winning a flying scholarship with the Fleet Air Arm Officer’s Association, for a week’s intensive gliding course at Lee on Solent run by the Portsmouth GC in April 2010.

Having never flown before his talent was immediately obvious as he achieved his first solo flight 6 months later in January 2010.

Staying with the club after his course, he made very rapid progress, and in his first competition at the 2013 Inter Service Championships he achieved an amazing 9th place overall and was the most improved pilot from a Royal Navy club, winning the Sproule Mug.

The year after he made a very creditable 13th at the British Gliding Association’s (BGA) National Junior Championships; flying in one of the least competitive gliders in the competition. In 2015 at BGA Junior Championships, in a much better performance glider, he demonstrated his true potential, missing the podium by only one place achieving 4th in very difficult gliding conditions.

Not only is Jordan a very talented cross-country pilot he has also found time to qualify as a gliding instructor, so he can pass his skills on to others at Seahawk Gliding Club.

As one of the Tug pilots, he is able to launch other gliders into the air to enjoy the tremendous feeling of soaring like a bird over the wonderful Cornish countryside and coastline.

Lieutenant Commander Chris Bryning, the Chief Flying Instructor of the Seahawk Gliding Club, said, “This is a tremendous achievement by Jordan, a real feather in his cap and inspiration to the other junior members of the club.

“The soaring conditions in Cornwall, which Jordan has to practice in, are not the best in the country so maybe that is why he has been able to do so well in better conditions further inland.”

We will be able to follow Jordan’s progress on the BGA website at www.gliding.co.uk and the Seahawk GC Facebook page.

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