Cliff flying high

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Former janitor for primary schools in Montrose and Ferryden Cliff McKay is flying high with success after achieving a lifelong ambition to become a qualified pilot.

On Thursday, September 5, the Brechin High School janitor took his general skills test and passed with “flying colours”, gaining his National Private Pilot Licence.

Raised and educated in southern Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe, Mr McKay and his family moved to South Africa where he spent most of his working life in agriculture and forestry. Since moving to Brechin, he has worked as a janitor at Southesk and Ferryden primary schools before relocating to Brechin High School.

Mr McKay began flying in September of last year, and after he had reached 30 hours of flying, his instructors let him fly solo, which he did just before Christmas last year.

As well as undergoing his general skills test, Mr McKay also had to undertake two cross-country flights to acquire his full licence.

Mr McKay said: “I would like to thank my instructors, John Strachan and Bill Davis of the Scottish Microlight Flight Centre for getting me to the end.”

Mr McKay wanted to share his success to help encourage others, especially the children he encounters at work, to follow their dreams, adding: “ It’s better to fail having tried than not to have tried at all.”

He is now looking forward to taking his children and grandchildren flying.