First students take to the sky

Published on November 29th, 2021

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IASTI Newark learners take their maiden flight with Rob Barsby from AeroSPARX

Shelby Valentine, Lexie Jackson and Alex Vickery were rewarded for their good attendance, work ethic and attitude towards the course, when they were taken on a flight experience with the AeroSPARX display pilot – where they even got to do a loop-the-loop. 

“It was amazing” said Shelby who is studying on the engineering pathway at the International Air and Space Training Institute (IASTI) Newark. 

“We didn’t do the take-off or landing but for the rest of the time we were flying ourselves! 

“We all did two or three loop-the-loops. Then Rob did a few tricks, showing what he usually does for his shows using smoke. Then he shut the engine off and we glided the rest of the way.” 

Alex was the first of the three students to fly the Grob Aircraft. He said: “I enjoyed doing the loop-the-loops the most and when Rob took over doing his tricks and I was going upside down. It was brilliant and a real adrenaline rush.” 

Lexie, who is on the pilot pathway said: “I loved the whole thing. I’ve never done anything like this before. I’ve been in an aeroplane once before as a passenger, so this was the second time I’ve ever boarded a plane and I got to do this!” 

The students are full of praise about their time on the course so far. 

“I’m really enjoying it and the journey I’m on. I’m learning a lot and I'm trying to make the most of every experience” adds Alex. 

AeroSPARX are a unique air display team, established in 2015 by Rob and fellow pilot Guy Westgate. They combine airborne pyrotechnics, aerobatics, formation flying and night flying for worldwide events. 

The IASTI is one of nine priority projects developed by Newark Towns Fund Board and funded through the Government’s Towns Fund initiative.

Do you fancy this? Join the most incredible training experience in the UK at IASTI Newark - train for an amazing career as a pilot, aircraft engineer or flight dispatcher. Find out more and apply here: 

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