Sky’s the limit for Sawtry’s Leslie and his flying family

Charmaine Smith, Jake Smith, Simon Smith, and Leslie Teat.

Charmaine Smith, Jake Smith, Simon Smith, and Leslie Teat. - Credit: Archant

Four generations of the same Huntingdonshire family have taken to the skies to learn how to fly planes.

Leslie Teat, 85, became the first member of the family to climb into the cockpit of a Cessna 152 back in 2001 after being convinced by members of his local club to give it a go.

And his relatives have been quick to follow suit, with daughter Charmaine Smith, grandson Simon Smith, and great grandson Jake Smith, aged 14, all from St Ives, taking lessons.

And Mr Teat’s other daughter Trudy Budnick has also had lessons.

Mr Teat and his family fly from Peterborough Business Airfield, in Conington, and after initial doubts about getting airborne, the grandfather of four said he has not looked back since.


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He said: “There was nobody more scared than I was when I first went up but I can honestly say it is easier than driving a car, I’ve never heard of a plane backing into anyone!”

Convincing his relatives to fly proved relatively easy for Mr Teat and grandson Jake become the fourth generation to fly in January last year, heading up with his grandfather for a first lesson.

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Mr Teat, a retired bar manager at RAF Alconbury, is one of the flying club’s oldest members and said he hopes to continue flying for as long as possible.

He flies about once a month and added that he would “certainly recommended it to anyone”.

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