High flying Winchester 17-year-old learns to fly before she can drive!

There can’t be too many people in the country who are on course to complete their pilot license before they officially pass their driving test.

But that’s the reality facing 17-year-old college student Elizabeth Ormston, from Winchester, who has just taken ownership of a new Volkswagen Polo from the Peter Cooper Motor Group and hasn’t had her first driving lesson yet!

Elizabeth, who started to learn to fly at 14 years old, has accumulated over 40 hours in the cockpit and is due to secure her flying license when she completes the last part of the test in the coming months. She became one of the youngest UK pilots to earn her solo wings just two hours after sitting a GCSE exam last year.

The flying has really taken off as the budding pilot explains: “I love flying. I don’t think I’ll take my final test until October but all being well, I should be flying solo again as soon as I have to take the last part of the license with an instructor. I have to do a cross country flight to prove I can navigate. My dream is to one day fly commercial planes.”

She added: “When I picked up my beautiful, shiny red Volkswagen Polo I couldn’t even drive it home from Peter Cooper’s. My dad had to drive it. It was a bit frustrating, but I need a few lessons first before I go behind the wheel of my own car.”

Andy Ormston, Elizabeth’s dad added: “Elizabeth got the bug for flying from a family friend who flew Tornadoes for the RAF. She started on simulators and then started having lessons. People don’t realise it but learning the rudiments of clutch control in a manual car is far harder than flying!”

Daren Cooper, managing director of The Peter Cooper Motor Group, said: “It’s an amazing story and we don’t come across too many customers like Elizabeth who can learn to fly before they can drive on the roads. We are delighted she’s over the moon with her new car and wish her all the best for her lessons and test.”

Darren Cooper