SAFA Skysailor Magazine

16 SKY SAILOR September | October 2020 For 16-year-old WA teenager Darcy Walker, flying a microlight has opened his world to endless possi- bilities with a bright future taking him sky high. At just 15-years-old, Darcy flew his first solo flight with Gavin Penfold’s flying school, Birds-Eye View, and is weeks away from obtaining his licence. While most of his classmates are still finding their grip, Darcy is firmly taking the steering wheel for his future and enjoying the wild ride. “I started flying in March 2019 and flew my solo flight in November that same year. I’ve always had a passion for flying but initially had little knowledge on microlights,” he said. “My friend’s dad took me flying and my dad also decided to learn, so we learnt together which was really nice. We encour- aged each other along the way. It’s an amazing experience to fly microlights. There’s hardly any limits to what you can accomplish in the sport and the views are just breathtaking.” Darcy said the spectacular sights he witnesses, as well as the experiences it provides, gives him the same excitement every time – as he hops into the aircraft he wonders what he’ll see with each flight. “I’m really lucky where I live, I get to fly over the Ningaloo Reef, this World Heritage listed area where you can witness the whales and all the wildlife that live in and around there,” he said. “The landscape it just amazing, as are the sunsets and sunrises. I look forward to one day fly around Australia and behold some of its great sights. My friends express some curiosity for what I do, I would love to take them up one day when I get my passenger endorse- ment. I’d also love to get my cross-country endorsement.” Darcy said he was very grateful to Birds Eye View in WA (both Daniel Tope and Gavin Penfold) for taking him under their wing and teaching him the skills and confidence to learn to fly microlights. “I am very grateful to Daniel for teaching me how to fly, and to Gavin who I did all my solo training under,” he said. “There aren’t many microlight training schools in Australia, let alone in WA, so I’m so grateful for Gavin and his team and for all they have taught me. They take such pride in their business and care about their students. I’m excited for where microlighting can take me in the future.” Birds-eye view for bright young teenager