Air display and aerobatic pilot Lauren Richardson has become the first-ever 'LAA Ambassador', with the role of communicating the Light Aircraft Association's message of 'flying for fun' to a wider audience.
Lauren who displays a Pitts Special S1-S, operated on an LAA Permit to Fly, will in addition to her airshow commitments work as a STEM ambassador in schools and promote the Association at flying clubs and LAA member events.
"I am so excited to be taking on a role as the first-ever 'ambassador' for the Light Aircraft Association, with the aim of encouraging more people into aviation and more aviators into the fun side of GA" said Lauren. "We need to interest more young people in flying and the LAA can offer an affordable route to getting involved. Flying is fun and to give something back is the ultimate goal for me. The LAA and another key supporter, the Wings Alliance, are committed to bringing more young people into engineering and aviation. Who knows, maybe one or two who never even thought about science or technology or maths as career paths will be the next world-changers, researchers and engineers or pilots. It's an incredible privilege to perhaps influence someone else to do truly amazing things."
Lauren started to take flying lessons when she was 19, after saving money working as an engineering apprentice from the age of 16. She has competed both in aerobatic competitions and 2017 marks her fifth season as a professional air display pilot. In addition to the Pitts Special, Lauren has flown a range of other interesting types and last year also displayed a YAK 50 single-seater.
"Lauren combines being a qualified professional engineer with outstanding flying skills" says LAA CEO Steve Slater. "But it is her commitment to sharing her passion for flying which really sets her apart. We've got an exciting year ahead of us as we reach out, both to new, younger members and reinvigorate the enthusiasm of our regulars. Lauren is the first of a small number of ambassadors who will help us achieve those aims."
20th March 2017