Thursday, 18 April 2019

Singing pilot returns to help passengers over come flying fears

British Airways’ singing pilot Stuart Beech, who rose to fame on Michael McIntyre’s BBC 1 ‘Big Show’, returns home to Manchester in May to help more people overcome their fear of flying.

Stuart, from Oldham, Greater  Manchester, is part of the British Airways’ Flying with Confidence team who have helped more than 50,000 nervous customers take to the skies since the courses first started over 30 years ago.

It was during one of the courses at Christmas that comedian Michael McIntyre surprised Stuart and invited him to fulfil a lifelong ambition and sing in front of a packed house at London’s Theatre Royal.

Now Stuart uses his singing talents to help calm nerves on the Flying with Confidence courses. On the last course in Manchester, he serenaded customers during the short flight.

He said: “It’s always great to come home to Manchester. Obviously, I love flying and these courses are a great opportunity for me to help other people enjoy it too by overcoming their fears. While two other pilots fly the aircraft I like to walk through the cabin and chat to people, many of whom are flying without fear for the first time. And yes I do like to encourage them to join in a singsong to celebrate!”

Stuart, a first officer on the British Airways Airbus A380, will be at the next Manchester course on Saturday, May 11.

Over three decades the course has helped newlyweds go on their dream honeymoon, supported couples in long distance relationships, assisted family reunions, as well as new jobs and opportunities overseas.

The course even helped a former WWII pilot gain the confidence to return to the skies after many years of avoiding flying.

British Airways Captain Steve Allright who leads the courses says: “We’ve had so many incredibly heart-warming stories over the years, but what they all have in common is that we’re helping to connect people, and that definitely makes it all worthwhile.”

The one-day course includes a morning session with British Airways pilots explaining the technical side of flying and challenging regular areas of concern such as turbulence, and expert advice from a clinical psychologist on relaxation techniques, and managing anxiety.

The day includes an actual flight with a dedicated British Airways A320 short-haul aircraft and crew – where customers can put the theory into practice.

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