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Last Updated: Thursday, 17 January 2008, 12:01 GMT
Prince thrilled to be flying solo
Prince William learning to fly
Prince William is training at RAF Cranwell
Prince William has been describing the excitement of his first solo flight, ahead of another lesson at RAF Cranwell in Lincolnshire.

The 25-year-old piloted a light aircraft around the airfield, just eight days into his RAF secondment.

He said it had been a big surprise when his instructor said he was ready.

"The next thing I knew I was taxiing down the runway... saying 'oh my god this is a bit odd, there's no-one in here'," William added.

The prince, who is second in line to the throne, took to the air on his own in a propeller-driven Grob 115E light aircraft, known as the Tutor.

I was watching the runway getting closer and closer and thinking, 'Please, please don't mess this up'
Prince William

He said: "God knows how somebody trusted me with an aircraft and my own life. It was an amazing feeling, I couldn't believe it.

"Once I'd taken off it was fine, you just remember your checks and do all the things you've got to do and fly the circuit.

"Then I was watching the runway getting closer and closer and thinking, 'Please, please don't mess this up'."

The prince is hoping to graduate with his RAF wings in April.

If he succeeds, he will fulfil a long-held ambition, following in the footsteps of his father, the Prince of Wales, and uncle, Prince Andrew, who both trained as pilots.

William is stationed with 1 Squadron at the Number One Elementary Flying Training School as part of a four-month attachment to the RAF.



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