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Plane-loving teen trying to raise money to achieve his dream of becoming a pilot

"It’s not affordable for families on a lower income."


Composite image. Alex as a young boy and now. (Artist: Alex Rapson via SWNS)

By Louise Cody via SWNS

The family of a plane-mad teen are raising money to help him fulfill his dream of becoming a pilot.

Alex Rapson, 18, has been obsessed with planes ever since was a kid - and was determined to be an aviator from 11.

But he now needs thousands of dollars to follow his career.

Dad Leigh Rapson says Alex worked hard to get his A-Levels and now needs to attend a flight school but courses cost around an eyewatering £100K ($121,953 US).

Alex as a child in the cockpit. (Alex Rapson via SWNS)

The family from Plymouth, UK, have already placed a £9,500 ($11,500) deposit and with university grants, the total cost of the course falls to £75,100 ($92,000).

They are now asking the public to help them raise the missing 25K ($26,000).

Alex said: ''I can still remember my first flight, Exeter to Paris Charles De Gaul.

''It was in 2010 and my nan treated us to a trip to Disneyland Paris.

''I can’t remember too much of the trip but I can vividly remember most things to do with the flight there and I quickly became obsessed with aviation.”

One pilot course in Oxford Alex wants to attend costs a staggering £99,500.

Alex said: “In my eyes, it’s a terrifying amount of money. It’s not affordable for families on a lower income.

''That’s why I want to create a not-for-profit once I’ve passed my course and am in a job.

''I want to try and help other families who have dreams of becoming a pilot but are in the same boat where you don’t have access to tens or hundreds of thousands of pounds.”

Having passed the entry exams for the course with ‘flying colors,' Alex is due to start the course in September if the money can be raised.

In a bid to do everything they can to help his parents have taken up extra part-time jobs to help raise the funds.

“I am beyond grateful for what my parents are doing. I honestly cannot thank them enough for the hard work they are putting into my dream,” Alex said.

Leigh added: "Since Alex was around seven years old he was fascinated with planes - anywhere we went.

''He said he wanted to be a pilot from a young age and his dream to become a pilot has never wavered.

"It's very much if you have £100,000 to pay, brilliant, but if not, then do something else.

''It is about trying to break that mold as well. It should be an accessible career.

"I hope people see that we are two parents trying really hard to make sure our son can do what he wants to do in life.

''That comes with our own sacrifices, and we have made big sacrifices to try and do it and don't want people to think we are begging because we can't be bothered.

''That's why the funding amount is £25,000 and not £75,000. We are finding £50,000 of it and we just need some help."

A link to Alex’s fundraising page can be found here.

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