A BUDDING pilot is reaching for the skies after securing a rare opportunity to learn how to fly solo.

Northallerton College sixth former Jake Bell has been selected from more than 2,000 applicants for an Air Training Corps intensive pilot scheme.

He will form part of a 140-strong contingent from all over the country on a two-week course at Tayside Aviation in Dundee over the Easter holidays.

By the end of the session he should be able to prepare, manoeuvre and fly a solo aircraft up to 10,000ft, including navigating, instrument flying and refuelling.

For the 19-year-old air cadet corporal, of Northallerton, being selected will see his dream of being a pilot take off.

Since childhood he has wanted to be a Chinook helicopter pilot and has already completed a glider scholarship which saw him flying solo.

“I’m following in my granddad’s and my father’s footsteps by being an air cadet,” he said.

“But I will be the only one to become a pilot if I am successful.”

The sixth former is currently completing A-levels in IT and science and has offers from four universities to study a degree in ethical hacking for computer security, where he will learn how to hack in order to defend networks.