How a seven-year-old went from £1 Concorde offer to pilot

In the 1980s the UK government sold Concorde to British Airways for £1, stating that if another British company ever wanted to operate the fleet it could do so for the same fee. In 2003, we made an offer to British Airways to buy five operational Concorde aircraft that were due to go out of service.

In the 1980s the UK government sold Concorde to British Airways for £1, stating that if another British company ever wanted to operate the fleet it could do so for the same fee. In 2003, we made an offer to British Airways to buy five operational Concorde aircraft that were due to go out of service.

Our offer received great media coverage, and sparked the attention of a lot of people – including sharp-witted seven year old, Eric Fitchett. I was pleasantly surprised and very amused to receive a letter from Eric, declaring that he wanted in on our deal.

Image from the Daily Express
Image from the Daily Express

Eric explained: “I still have some birthday money left over, so can I buy a Concorde?...You can keep it with your other planes and I will clean it for you. Also one of your pilots can teach me how to fly.”

Admiring Eric’s proactivity and entrepreneurial zest, I gave him a call. I explained to the excited and articulate young aviation enthusiast that although he couldn’t buy a Concorde, he’d be welcome aboard on our first flight if we secured the deal. Sadly our effort to keep Concorde flying was rejected – even after we significantly raised our offer.

While the Concorde deal didn’t work out, Eric’s dreams of learning to fly are being realised. Last year I received another letter from the Fitchett household – this time from Eric’s mother, Beulah – telling me that Eric is now an in Officer training for the RAF. After Officer duties Eric will go to train as a pilot. 

Image from Eric Fitchett

People often shrug off the dreams and desires of children – placing them in fantasy land or the too-hard bucket. But there’s so much we can learn from the dogged determination and wide-eye enthusiasm of children. We should all dream, share our dreams, then go out and grab them with both hands.

Congratulations Eric! You’re testament to the fact that amazing things happen to those willing work towards their dreams. Good luck in your training – I hope to see you in the skies one day. 

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