Moon flight helps heroes

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A TEENAGE Ponteland pilot can’t wait to take flight on his big solo American adventure.

James Moon will fly a Cessna 172 aircraft from Florida to California and back over two weeks in August to raise money for Help for Heroes.

Along the way, the 17-year-old will land at airports in Palm Springs, Jacksonville, Tallassee, Dallas, Las Vegas and Los Angeles, as well as smaller ones, and will travel about 4,000 nautical miles.

“This will be the biggest challenge I have ever faced,” he said. “Although I was quite nervous when it was first confirmed, I love flying so I’m feeling a lot more excitement than nerves and I can’t wait to do the challenge.

“It will be brilliant to fly across American skies and I’m going over the Grand Canyon, so hopefully it’s a clear day and I get some fantastic views.

“I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the weather will be kind on my journey as there can quite often be thunderstorms in most of the areas I will be travelling in during August.

“My brother Ian is in the RAF and either through him or on the news I have heard many stories about the great sacrifices people in the Armed Forces have made for their country so I hope to raise a lot of money for Help for Heroes.”

Satnav company Garmin has provided a specialist flight system for the journey, which can be sold afterwards to add to the total.

The Darras Hall resident has recovered from a broken spine, burst appendix, broken finger and wrist dislocation to pursue his dream and last month achieved a Private Pilot Licence at the first attempt.

This challenge will also help him to achieve the Airline Transport Pilot Licence, which would allow him to apply for a First Officer position with a commercial airline.

For more information, or to make a donation, visit www.justgiving.com/usaflight