Adventure in the air

Grounded: Andrew Eldridge. Picture: Martin Kennealey d406277
Grounded: Andrew Eldridge. Picture: Martin Kennealey d406277

But name the thrill and chances are the East Perth resident has chased it.

His interests include bikes, racing karts, jumping from planes and aerobatics.

‘It’s not actually that crazy,’ the Jandakot-based pilot said.

‘Planes are made for aerobatics.

‘It’s like aerial ballet. It’s not hard on the plane, but it is hard on the body. It exploits the capabilities of the plane and a pilot’s skill to the max. Pulling off the perfect manoeuvre gives you quite the buzz when you get it right.’

With both parents in the air force, it seemed only natural Mr Eldridge would follow them into a life in the sky. But that wasn’t the case.

The 52-year-old, who lost his right arm in a motorcycle accident when he was 24, was actually coaxed down to the Royal Aero Club 25 years ago under the pretence that his mum was going to be flying the plane.

She had other ideas, with Mr Eldridge given the reins. From there, a passion was born.

With a strong interest in competition flying, he has been a regular Light Aircraft Championship competitor at state and national level. This year he became Australian champion and also helped his country finish first in the Wings International competition against New Zealand.

Mr Eldridge will now turn attention to his role as a flight instructor.

Information about trial flights, lessons, scenic flights and charters can be found by calling 9417 0000 or visiting royalaeroclubwa.com.au.