A high-flying air cadet is on cloud nine after earning his wings.
Longbenton High School student Alex McGowan completed the flying course after landing a prestigious scholarship.
To qualify for the fully-sponsored training, the 17-year-old had to undergo a tough selection day that tested his aptitude, knowledge and skills.
He then went to Dundee to gain his flying wings with Tayside Aviation.
He said: “The course was the best two weeks of my life.
“The instructors focussed on the areas I needed to improve, which helped to increase my confidence. However, when I flew my first sortie alone I was really nervous.
“The pilot told me to hold the aircraft on the taxi-way, and he got out saying, ‘good luck in your solo flight, don’t break the aeroplane, they’re expensive’.
“I just went for it as I had been waiting for this moment since arriving there. It was an incredible feeling from start to finish.
“It is by far the best experience I have had, and I thank the air cadets for that.”
The teenager is a member of 2344 Longbenton Squadron. Flight lieutenant Gary Richardson said: “We are all extremely proud of Alex’ achievement.”
The squadron is open to new members from Year 8 and above. Visit www.2344.org.uk