Flying start for engineering students

Published: Friday 16 September 2016

There aren’t many college students who get to fly a light aircraft during their first week of study, but that’s exactly what engineering students from Blackpool and The Fylde College enjoyed during an inspirational induction week.

The first year students joined second years and a Foundation Degree group on a visit to Westair, a private and commercial training facility based at Blackpool Airport. The group listened to a classroom lesson on the theory of flight which was followed by a trial flying lesson to put the theory session into practice.

Students also benefitted from a tour of Westair’s maintenance facility to see how the aircraft are maintained and kept airworthy.

Level 3 Engineering student Lauren Nixon, 16, from Blackpool, said:

“This has been a brilliant day. I really enjoyed the flying instruction and the whole experience will help us with our future careers.”

Second year Aeronautical Engineering student, Christian Wood, added:

“This was an awesome experience. I’d definitely give the day ten out of ten for an exciting and educational activity.”

Mark Stephens, Programme Leader for Aeronautical Engineering, accompanied student groups to the airport. He said:

“The students have enjoyed a thrilling induction day which welcomed them into their College life.  Not only was it a great teambuilding day for students, but the activities tie in directly with their classes in theory of flight and aviation law – an area which many of them will choose to concentrate on during work  placement.

Places are still available on Engineering courses at Blackpool and The Fylde College. Call 01253 504343 or visit and search ‘engineering’ to find out more.

About Westair:

Westair are a private and commercial training facility for Pilots and also a licensed maintenance station for Cessna 406’s and various other aircraft.

They have been at the airport and involved in aviation since the 1930s when it was started by Walter “Wally” Westoby. At the time we were flying out of an aerodrome based at Blackpool’s Stanley Park; some of the aircraft hangars still exist as part of Blackpool Zoo.

In recent years Westair has specialised in providing operational support and crew for corporate aircraft. These include group owned corporate jets. Currently Westair is providing crew to BAE Systems, flying regular services from Walney Airfield in Cumbria across the country in King Airs.


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