One Doncaster schoolboy was determined to make his one to remember, and decided to fly himself there.
Alex Lambert, aged 16, of Barnby Dun, made his grand entrance at the Ridgewood School year 11 prom, at Castle Park, on Friday – less than a month after flying a helicopter on his own for the first time.
Despite not being old enough to learn to drive yet, Alex has been learning to fly for almost two years and is well on his way to earning his pilot’s licence.
Proud mum Michelle said her son has always wanted to be a pilot.
“You can start to learn to be a pilot when you are 14, and that’s when Alex started his lessons.
“You have to wait until you are 17 to get a pilot’s licence, but if your instructor thinks you are ready you can take your first solo ride when you reach the age of 16. Alex did that on his 16th birthday, on June 6.
“He tells me that it was a bit strange getting used to just one person in the helicopter for his solo flight as the helicopter handles a bit differently.
“I’m so proud of him, he’s well on his way to getting his licence and I hope he will make a career out of this because it’s his passion.
“I was quite nervous when he said he wanted to do this, and also fly solo, but I was confident that he could do it. It’s always been his intention to fly in to his prom.”
Alex has been having lessons once or twice a month with Hields Aviation instructors at Sherburn Airfield, near Selby, for the last 18 months.
The talented teenager asked his friends Connor Whitehead and Joe Patterson, both aged 16, to join him in the helicopter as he flew to the event.
The flight, which went smoothly, formed part of one of Alex’s lessons. An instructor also went along for the ride.
“He went with his instructor on this one so the helicopter could be taken back to the airfield afterwards,” said Michelle.
“I know he was quite nervous because all of his peer group was watching, but he had a great time.
“I don’t think Alex told anybody at school what he was going to do, he’s quite reserved, so I’m sure it was quite a big surprise for everybody.”