Jacob 'the pilot' Newson, 7, takes to the skies for first flying lesson
Seven-year-old RAF-obsessed Jacob Newson, whose mum passed away from breast cancer last year, has taken to the sky for his first 'flying lesson'.
Dad, Andrew, who has a fear of flying, sat behind as Jacob took the controls of the Piper PA-28 Cherokee during a flight out of White Waltham Airfield, under the guidance of of instructor Mark Green.
Andrew, who is an emergency medical technician for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance Service, said the moment was "bittersweet" as it was mum, Andrea, who had planned to chaperone their son.
Andrea died from breast cancer in December last year, aged just 49
Andrew said: “Andrea was always going to do it, but unfortunately she passed away at Christmas with cancer so I had to step up to the mark and be brave for him.
“Seeing how excited Jacob was helped me – and being so determined to get some footage of him and photos of him in the aircraft helped to distract me from looking out the window.”
Under the watchful eye of Mark Green, Jacob, who has been “obsessed” with flying since he was a toddler, was able to take control of the plane for roughly 10 seconds when they were 3,000ft (914m) in the air.
Andrew said:“The highlight was when Jacob took the controls of the aircraft... and effectively he was in control of the aircraft, which was amazing.
“He was engrossed in the whole thing – he loved being up in the air.”
Since Andrea's passing just before Christmas, Jacob has been fundraising for the St Gemma's Hospice in Leeds in memory of his “beautiful Mummy”.
This summer, Jacob is also planning to climb the three highest mountains in Yorkshire in three days wearing his RAF Flying Suit alongside Andrew.
Jacob has already raised over £22,000 through his JustGiving page for the charity, but hopes to raise £30,000, which will be enough to pay for a palliative care nurse for 12 months.
Andrew said: “The hospice is over the moon with how much we’d already raised, but I asked them if there was a specific amount and they said £30,000 would be enough to pay for a nurse for one year.”
On the JustGiving fundraising page, Jacob explained why it was so important to raise money for the charity.
He said: “On 27th December 2020 my beautiful mummy passed away at home at the age of just 49 with me and my daddy by her side.
“St Gemma's Hospice played a part in helping my mummy come to terms with cancer and helped us get my mummy home for Christmas just before she died so we could have one last Christmas together as a family.
“Thankfully St Gemma's Hospice still continue to support me and my daddy today, helping us come to terms with losing my mummy and providing us with support when needed.
“If you could sponsor me just a few pounds to help me support this fantastic charity it would help ensure that any other Mums and Dads, Boys and Girls like me and my daddy get the vital support they need to help make their journey as painless as possible.”
To support Jacob’s effort for St Gemma’s Hospice, visit his justgiving page.