AVIATION enthusiasts in the Cotswolds are being encouraged to take to the skies with a new flying club that has launched at Cotswold Airport.

The Gryphon Aero Club, the first flying school in the country to be given full accreditation by the EU, intends to put people from all walks of life into the cockpit.

Chief flying instructor John Griffin, 69, who worked as an engineer with the RAF, said that in the past he has taught disabled how to fly a plane.

He said: “I’ve found that disabled people can handle a plane just as well anybody else really. I’ve worked with soldiers from Afghanistan who have lost their legs in IED explosions.

“We can fit extra controls in the plane, in a similar way that you can with a car, to make it easier for them.”

John, who has been flying planes for most of his life, said that new legislation will soon require all flying schools in the UK to adhere to the new European guidelines before allowing pupils to take the controls.

He explained that the club, which has been in the pipeline for over six months, sparked a buzz from the local flying community.

“We’ve had quite a lot of interest since we said the club is going to open. We’ve only got one plane so far but if things go well, we’ll be looking to add to that,” he said.

Anyone who is interested in booking a lesson with the Kemble based school, should contact John on 01285 610108.