A TEENAGER who has just finished his GCSEs has completed his first solo flight in a glider - and now hopes to be an airline pilot.

Michal Czekajlo, 16, from Witham has flown on his own for the first time at Essex and Suffolk Gliding Club in Wormingford.

He was given a trial gliding flight for his 15th birthday a year ago which meant he had a three-month discount membership.

In that time, Michal did about 40 flights before deciding to get a year-long membership.

Michal, who finished his GCSEs this month, said gliding helps to develop an understanding of subjects such as physics.

For his A Levels, he is planning to continue to attend St John Payne School, in Chelmsford, to take maths and physics as his primary subjects to further his education and to get into aviation as a career – with hopes of being an airline pilot.

Success - Michael Czekajlo and his instructor Paul RiceSuccess - Michael Czekajlo and his instructor Paul Rice (Image: Essex and Suffolk Gliding Club)

Michael said that learning to glide was never a chore and with a long summer coming up, he is planning more flights.

And he feels he could have progressed even more, but had to take time off due to his GCSE commitments, especially over winter.

Michal said: "It was very fun, and the best part was communicating with people and experiencing the community there.

“It’s definitely a big change to meet a wide variety of people.

"The ‘older’ people will always try to invite you for a flight if they’re free, and younger people should start gliding.

Speaking about his first solo flight, Michael said he did not feel much pressure as he was on his own, and he was told he had been “perfect” in the mandatory accompanied flight beforehand.

An all-day aviation open day will take place on September 21 at Wormingford Airfield, in Fordham Road, with glider flights, gliding simulators, model guilders and other educational activities for all ages.