Leicestershire woman trains as commercial pilot in aero club first

A Leicestershire woman currently training for her Commercial Pilot’s Licence at a local aero club is the first person to undertake the qualification in the organisation’s 100 year history.

Clare Tector, a member of Leicestershire Aero Club, hopes took her final flight test in May for the issue of her Commercial Pilot’s Licence. She has already sat the written theory exams, with the qualification involving 14 exams in total.

Having come to Leicester as a student at Leicester University, Clare started using the club in 1999 and first flew solo in 2002. She qualified for her Private Pilot’s Licence (PPL) in time to celebrate the Centenary of Flight in 2003. Clare then went on to specialise in aerobatics and flying vintage aircraft; she regularly flies Tiger Moths and other similar aircraft at Shuttleworth air displays.

Leicestershire woman trains as commercial pilot in aero club first
“After leaving university I visited Leicester Airport with a friend and was instantly hooked,” says Clare. “I loved the experience of flying, but just as importantly I liked the people at the club who immediately made me feel welcome. People think that flying is only for the super-rich but that simply isn’t true, otherwise I’d never have been able to afford to get to the level I have. I am also hoping to take further qualifications, but these will take some time to save up for.”

A Commercial Pilot’s Licence (CPL) differs from a PPL as it allows the pilot to be paid to fly. It represents the first significant step towards employment as a commercial pilot. All CPL holders must be at least 18 years of age and already have their PPL before completing the relevant training and exams. The training consists of a minimum of 200 hours of ground instruction and 25 hours of flying time on top of 200 hours’ experience which must include cross country and night time flights.

Leicestershire Aero Club is now offering this qualification for the first time in their history, as well as a range of other flying experiences and qualifications.

The club, which is situated at Leicester Airport near Stoughton celebrated its centenary in 2009. The airport was an RAF base during World War II and has since grown into a vibrant flying club and successful training school. Courses offered include trial lessons and training in personal pilot licences, flying companion courses and flight instructor qualifications.