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David Burns, Founder

Amelia Richardson and David Burns in a Glider

I had the incredible opportunity to embark on my maiden gliding adventure with the Oxford Gliding Club, an experience that left me exhilarated and inspired. What made this journey even more remarkable was being flown by the remarkable and trailblazing Amelia Richardson (amelia_glider_pilot), a 17-year-old gliding instructor who is making waves in the aviation world.

Glider at Oxford Gliding Club

Amelia Richardson is a beacon of inspiration, dedicated to encouraging more young girls to explore the wonders of gliding and aviation. Her passion for flying is infectious, and her determination to share the magic of flight is truly commendable. Amelia's journey showcases her unwavering commitment to her mission of spreading the joy of aviation far and wide.

Cockpit view from a Glider

Ascending into the heavens with Amelia guiding the way, I found myself lost in reflection, tracing the trajectory of my own aviation odyssey. From the early enchantment with flight that captivated me as a child, to the thrilling culmination of my journey as the Captain of a Boeing 737 for a European Airline today, it has been an exhilarating rollercoaster ride of discovery and achievement.

Amelia Richardson and David Burns in a Glider

Amelia's passion for flying is palpable, and her ambitions in the field are nothing short of inspiring. Whether aiming for a career as a military pilot or pursuing opportunities as a flight instructor, her dedication to reaching new heights is truly commendable. Like many aspiring aviators, she works tirelessly to fund her flying dreams, demonstrating that with perseverance and determination, anything is possible.

Amelia Richardson and David Burns before going Gliding

A standout moment during my gliding adventure was the instant I seized control, realising the stark contrast to the flying I had grown accustomed to. As I remarked to Amelia while airborne, a realisation dawned upon me: this could easily become an addiction. The sensation was unlike anything I had ever experienced before.

Gliders at Oxford Gliding Club

In the world of aviation, heroes come in many forms. For me, heroes are those who support and inspire us along our journey, like the mentors and friends who have guided me through my own aviation adventures. And in individuals like Amelia Richardson, who are breaking barriers and sharing their passion with the world, we find true inspiration.

As I reflect on my gliding experience and the remarkable journey of Amelia Richardson, I am reminded of the profound impact that aviation can have on our lives. It is a reminder that with passion, determination, and a willingness to soar beyond the confines of our comfort zone, we can achieve extraordinary things.

Jess Dudzik and David Burns at Oxford Gliding Club

Congratulations also to Amelia for receiving the 2023-24 Attagirls Molly Rose Pilot Scholarship made possible by the generous support of Marshall of Cambridge, Cambridge Aero Club, Graham, Gregory & Nigel Rose, the British Women Pilots Association (BWPA), and Philip Meeson, founder of Jet2.

Thank you everybody who I met at Oxford Gliding Club, and thank you, Amelia Richardson, for an unforgettable experience that has left me dreaming of the skies and inspired to reach new heights (in a glider). I also want to say a special thank you to young glider pilot Jess Dudzik (jess.gliding), a keen supporter of Flyer from the beginning, who popped by to say hi, and Amelia’s Dad, James who kept us entertained all day. You must be one proud Dad.

I recommend everybody to go and give it a go!


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