AFTER years of being flown around the world, a pensioner has taken the controls of an aircraft for the first time.
Alan Cockerton fulfilled a long-standing ambition by having his first flying lesson at Shoreham Airport with Perry Air.
The 88-year-old from Fleet in Hampshire was in the Air Training Corps but when he was called up, he failed the medical.
Finally, on Wednesday, September 3, he was able to fly a plane for himself.
“It has been my ambition to do this for many years and now, I am going for it,” he said.
“I am thrilled to bits. I couldn’t wait to get in the cockpit.”
He and his wife are Mormons and he has flown in various aircraft as a passenger.
“I have done lots of flying around the world as a passenger in the past and in a DC-3 during the war,” said Mr Cockerton.
“In the 60s, my wife and I took our motorbike on holiday to Switzerland. We were flying in a small freight plane from Lydd to Le Touquet in France.
“We have also been island hopping in the West Indies in an eight-seater aircraft around 1988 - only as passengers, of course. We are Mormons and were on a mission there.”