YOUNG Thomas Greer might be as ‘plane-daft’ as his Kennoway grandad and pilot dad, but securing a VIP trip to France proves he’s no fool.
In the autumn of 2011, the precocious 10 year-old secretly wrote to the chief executive of Airbus enclosing his design proposals for a new aeroplane.
Much to the family’s surprise, Thomas received a reply with an invite to see the production of Airbus’ brand new A350 at the company’s headquarters in Toulouse, France.
A sneak preview of the £200m craft before its maiden flight on Friday proved an opportunity too good to miss.
“It was fantastic” said dad Paul (39).
“We flew out to Lyon, got picked up by chauffeur and were given a private tour round the whole Airbus facility.
“We were shown very restricted areas and were really humbled and honoured to be invited.”
Paul, who flies an Airbus 320 for Easyjet, explained budding pilot Thomas and his grandfather Ken Greer were well-known enthusiasts in the flight simulator community.
But as well as a passion for aviation, Thomas (now 12 years-old) has proven he has a huge dose of gumption besides.
“He came up with a design proposal for a new aircraft which is smaller than the current Airbus jet,” said Paul.
“CEO Tom Enders replied with a very encouraging letter, explaining where Airbus was at in terms of aircraft construction of the future and said maybe one day Thomas would consider a career working for them. “
Proud grandfather Ken (64), a retired firefighter, commented: “Thomas plays football and doesn’t sit in front of a computer all day but, for all his young years, he’s very methodical in the ways he tackles problems; very analytical.
“He’s a sharp wee cookie!”