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Haileybury Sixth Former makes history in his own aircraft

An Upper Sixth pupil, Ollie Welch (18), made history on Sunday, 18 March when he became the first Haileybury pupil to join the Haileybury RAF Section at Duxford Imperial War Museum by "flying in" with his own aeroplane, following a flight from his home base near Colchester.

Cadet Warrant Officer Ollie Welch – who is a qualified pilot with his own Private Pilot’s Licence (PPL) – flew his father’s aircraft to join his colleagues, who had driven up by coach to take part in a school Field Weekend. CWO Welch has been in the Combined Cadet Force at Haileybury for four years, has attended numerous camps and external courses, and was recently promoted to Warrant Officer as he is viewed by his commanding officers as the best all-round cadet in his section.

Says Squadron Leader Perrins, Section Commander of the RAF at Haileybury: "This was a sophisticated and technical operation, requiring innovation, skill, planning and much care and attention. Ollie’s achievement marked the first time in history that a serving Haileybury pupil has done such a thing.

"It was a significant moment for Haileybury and the RAF Section, and for Ollie. The entire squad of RAF Cadets stood on the tower of Air Traffic Control and waved their berets at him to recognise the achievement – a great moment," Mr Perrins added.