A Menston man has already achieved great heights at the age of 24 after qualifying as a commercial airline pilot.

Former Guiseley School student Matt Midgley has been fascinated with flying since he was a small boy, and would often watch the planes take off and land at Leeds Bradford Airport.

After years of tough training, study and practice, he has secured his dream job of working as a pilot for Ryanair.

He and his family are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints – known to most as Mormons – who attend the local congregation that meets in Burley Road, Menston He volunteered to spend two years as a missionary in Ireland before going to flight school.

After an intense period of assessments, interviews, and exams, Mr Midgley was accepted into an independent flying school.

Thousands of hours of training and study later, including a five-month visual flying stint in Phoenix, Arizona, he emerged as a qualified pilot.

Ryanair invited him to Stansted for an interview and assessment and three weeks later he was accepted on to the airline’s training programme.

He said: “To have been offered this job is an incredible blessing.

“It is the culmination of so many years of hoping and working towards this goal.

“It is absolutely thrilling.

“I am absolutely sure that my voluntary service as a missionary has helped me to achieve my dreams of becoming a pilot.”