A seven-year-old West Yorkshire boy who one day dreams of becoming an RAF pilot has taken his first flying lesson - and even flew the plane for a few seconds.

Pint-sized Jacob Newson said it was one the ‘best experiences’ in his life when he took to the skies for the very first time after dad Andrew, 53, surprised him with the lesson.

The little lad even took over the controls of the Piper PA-28 Cherokee and soared 3,000 feet into the air during the flight last Friday (April 16).

Before the pandemic struck, the RAF-obsessed boy was due to retrace the escape route of New Zealand's most famous World War II pilot Alan Deere in Dunkirk for charity.

Remarkably, the boy flew out White Waltham Airfield, near Maidenhead, where Air Commodore Alan Deere first trained when he arrived in Britain.

The promising pilot, who was dressed in his favourite RAF flying suit, said he was scared at first but as soon as he landed he wanted to go back in the air.

Jacob, from Leeds, said: “At first I was feeling a bit scared, but when the engine was about to start up I said I was going to be brave.

“When it took off I was really brave and really excited.

“I wanted to loopty loop. But dad didn’t want to. But I felt very comfortable flying.

“It was really cool, because everything looked like it was just squares. And so small.

“I want to keep doing it forever. I want to spend all of my time in the skies.

“It was one of the best experiences of my life.”

Dad Andrew said he was ‘incredibly proud’ of his boy after he flew for the first time - but said he wished his late wife Andrea could have seen the brave lad fly.

He said it was an emotional experience as it had always been the plan for her to take him on his first flight.

Andrea tragically passed away aged 49 just days after Christmas last year, after a short battle with breast cancer.

He said: “It was quite emotional because the plan was always for Andrea to chaperon Jacob on any flights he was offered.

“It was a bit bittersweet that he finally flew in a small private aircraft but Andrea wasn’t there to see it.

“But I was so proud of him, and he took it in stride.

“It’s a grass airfield which was used during the war, so it’s got a lot of its original features so it was a bumpy take off and landing but he was fine.

“As soon as we were done we were having a drink and Jacob already wanted to get back in the air.”

Andrew said he had been apprehensive about getting Jacob into a plane too early as he didn’t want him to be scared and shatter his dreams.

But he said he made the right decision to surprise him with the lesson as Jacob was beaming with excitement before and after the flight.

And hopes to be invited for more flights by instructor Mark Green, who has become a close friend of the family.

Widower Andrew, who works for Yorkshire Ambulance, said: “He hasn’t stopped talking about it.

“I don’t think his teachers believe him, they must think he has a vivid imagination because he keeps telling them that he has flown a plane.

“I think it was the most exciting thing to happen to his in life.”

The pair will be climbing Yorkshire’s three highest later this year to raise money for St Gemma’s Hospice who took care of Jacob’s mother before her passing.

Jacob has already raised over £22,000 but hopes to raise £30,000, which will be enough to pay for a palliative care nurse for 12 months.

Visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Jacob-Newson1? to donate.