Flying start for new business Bolsover’s David Buck is proving that having a disability doesn’t mean that you can’t get off the ground – and run a business too with his new venture, Micro- light Flight Lessons, with the support of Bolsover District Council’s Work for Yourself programme. David explained the background to his new enterprise: “I had been running my previous business as a keep-fit instructor but, after about 13 years of running six miles every day, my legs were worn out and I couldn’t even get upstairs.  I had treatment but was told that my working life had finished because I was too young to have replacement knees.  So it was awful being out of work for nearly two years.  But then I realised that my health condition need not stop me starting a new business based on my 20 years of hobby micro-light flying.  I managed to get some grants for more training so that now I’m a fully-qualified flight instructor.  I’ve moved from being down in the dumps with my disability to sitting in my new smart office – it’s really uplifting.” The Work for Yourself programme helps David and others like him with long-term health conditions and disabilities to become self-employed and start their own businesses.  Based at Sheffield Aero Club at Netherthorpe near Worksop, David is running two micro-lights and has trainees coming from as far as London.  He said, “For people who want to fly, this is a much cheaper option than learning on a small plane.  These micro-lights are similar to a motorised glider but with an open cockpit.  It’s the purist form of flying - out in the open, just like the early pioneers.” I offer a trial lesson when people can decide if they want to come back, David commented, “Each training session includes 30 or 60 minutes flying time plus briefings before and after.  Since I started operating in May, the business has grown and I’m already planning a wider range of micro-lights, an on-line shop for books and clothing plus a flight simulator.  In a couple of years, I will be qualified to licence my trainees rather than bringing in outside examiners.”
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