A PILOT who received who earned his wings through a scholarship set up by a the father of a tragic young Marlow flying enthusiast has been accepted on to British Airway’s sponsored pilot scheme.

George Andrews, 19, from Henley, graduated from the ‘James Beagley Memorial Scholarship’ in October last year, set up by Alan Beagley to commemorate his son who was killed in a small aircraft collision near Coventry airport in 2009.

Mr Andrews was initially offered a sponsored training scheme by commercial airline Flybe, but the more favourable option of a place on British Airway’s future Pilot Programme came along soon after, which provides training towards getting a commercial pilot’s licence and a job at the end.

He said: “I didn’t think I was going to get it, I pretty much got it out of sheer luck. I owe a lot to the scholarship and to Alan to help me on my way. I still can’t believe it.

“There’s quite a long tradition of guys coming in to work on ground crew to self fund their training and become airline pilots, so there is a fair bit of pressure to do the same.”

The young pilot also thanked the West London Flying club for his achievements, where he has been employed as a member of the ground crew for the past two years.

The selection process for the programme was rigorous and required him to attend two rounds of interviews and complete two aptitude tests before he was offered a place.

Mr Beagley said: “George called me straight away when we got offered the sponsorship from British Airways and I was beside myself.

“For me to be able to put our hands up and say we’ve achieved what we wanted to from the programme is just great.”

The two year programme will start in October which begins with a 15 month stint of training in Spain.

Mr Beagley received the good news almost exactly on the anniversary of James’ death, which will be seven years ago on August 17.

He said: “To see George achieve the pinnacle and get selected by one of the world’s favourite airlines, it just doesn’t get better than that.”

Matt Dodington, 20, is the latest budding pilot to be welcomed on to the memorial scholarship, which pays for half the costs for lessons and exams towards getting the private pilot’s licence.

For more information on the scheme then visit the website at JBScholarship.org