A MAN has landed his dream job as a helicopter pilot - 30 years after beginning his training.

Lee Davison was 21 when he first began working towards his ambition. Now aged 51, he is enjoying his first full-time piloting job with Yeadon-based Multiflight.

“I am grateful for a role that I could only dream about from my early twenties when I first started flying,” said Lee, who trained to fly in 1989 at Doncaster Aero Club.

Lee, who is originally from York, worked in a family building business as a plasterer until he trained to fly. After his flight training he worked as ground crew for two companies over a period of four years, but had to move back home to find work in 1994 after the second company went bankrupt.

“I started a part-time job with the North Yorkshire Ambulance Service in the Emergency Control Centre,” he said.

“I thought this would just be for a short while to fill a gap until I could get flying again but things developed and I was offered training to become a paramedic in 1998. My 25-year ambulance career covered frontline ambulance work, working as a solo operator as a fast response car paramedic and 10 years on the Yorkshire Air Ambulance as a Clinical Supervisor/Aircrew Paramedic.”

“The latter part of my service career from 2015 to 2018 was at Northallerton Ambulance Station. This is also where I now live. I worked there on a critical care fast response car, where I would lead and support front line ambulance crews in the Yorkshire Dales through the care and treatment of patients involved in trauma or cardiac arrest.”

Between 1994 and 2007 Lee did very little flying until he had enough finances to fund his commercial licence exams and flight training.

“When I was working on the air ambulance as a clinician I was based at Leeds Bradford Airport. This is how I got to meet Mark Griffiths, Multiflight’s chief helicopter pilot. I studied to pass my exams and flight test for my commercial licence in 2007/8 and then took my CV to show Mark in the hope of getting some pilot work.”

Lee started flying part-time for Multiflight in 2008 and was recently taken on by the company on a permanent basis.

“I knew that the helicopter pilot role was limited if I didn’t have my Instrument Rating so with the support of Multiflight I started my IR training at Kemble Airfield in the Cotswolds with ‘Starspeed Training’ from October 2018 to completion in January 2019,” Lee said.

He added:”I have been welcomed by all staff at Multiflight and I am grateful for the opportunity to finish my working career in a role that I could only dream about from my early twenties when I first started flying.”