Hello, my name is Harry Ball, I’m a 14 year old triplet, I live with my family in Tattenhoe, Milton Keynes and am currently in year 10 at The Hazeley Academy and I have a dream………………….that dream is to become a commercial airline pilot.
I’ve wanted to fly since I can remember and I’d put this down to a number of experiences. The first was watching the film Memphis Belle. I love this film and used to watch it whenever I could, either at home or around my grandparent’s house – much to my brother and sisters’ annoyance! The second was visiting RAF Duxford, one summers’ day in 2003, to see the ‘Flying Legends’ Air Show. I had my photograph taken in front of the B17, ‘Sally B’, which was very special as I loved the Memphis Belle film. Finally, we have a family friend, Tony Schimmel, who used to be in the RAF. Tony used to fly Buccaneers when he was stationed in South Africa. Since leaving the Air Force, he has flown for Royal Bruni, Easyjet, as a Training Officer, he currently flies 757’s and 767’s for DHL out of East Midlands Airport. Tony used to show me his many RAF photographs and models of the planes he flew.
I was aware that I am not going to become a pilot just by being passionate and striving towards good grades at school. So I joined the Air Training Corp. (Air Cadets) early in 2012. I enjoy the discipline and learning the various aspects of flight, including instrumentation and the principals of flight. I’m hoping that the combination of hard work at school, my passion for wanting to fly and the experience I gain at ATC will all help me in achieving my goal.
As mentioned in my previous blog – midway through 2012, I learned that I was to do ‘work experience’. Most of my fellow pupils chose from a list of businesses to work in, the choices were not to my liking. Having had a flying lesson at Cranfield Flying School, given as a Christmas present, early in 2012, my Dad suggested we ask the owners of CFS if they’d consider me doing work experience with them. They agreed and I went on to have a fantastic week – de-icing planes, preparing the planes for flight, answering the phones and spending time in the flight simulator. Towards the end of my week, I was invited to enter a competition, sponsored by Sennheiser. The competition required me to write down the reasons I want to become a pilot and how I would achieve my ambition. The prize for the two winners was the awarding of a mini grant towards 10 hours of flying, a very expensive Sennheiser headset, assistance toward my core PPL (Private Pilots’ License) exams and incredibly the chance to be mentored by Senior Training Pilot, Derek Spicer.
Mr Spicer is Senior Training Captain/Examiner for Boeing and Airbus. He currently works with Boeing on the 787 Dreamliner and Airbus on the 320 and 330 models.
Early in March I was informed by Mr Spicer that I had won the ‘scholarship’ – I really couldn’t believe it! I honestly did not know what to say when he told me. I’ve never won anything before in my life, the first time I do, it’s something that’s so important to me. I appreciate that there’s an awful lot of hard work and effort required from me over these next few years but I really feel as though my dream has come ever so slightly closer.
I’m incredibly fortunate that Mr Spicer, Cranfield Flying School and Sennheiser will be assisting me as I take my first steps into my chosen career, it helps greatly as a don’t feel as though I’m ‘going it alone’.
I’m so looking forward to having my first ‘official’ real lesson with the flying school, and I cannot stress how very excited I am to be meeting Mr Spicer. Mr new short term goal is to fly solo before my 15th birthday!