AN AMATEUR pilot is getting a first-hand look at part of Britain’s beautiful coastline as he flies around it to raise money for a disabled boy.

Graphic designer Paul Elliott, 57, of Bellhouse Road, Eastwood, has taken off in a Piper Warrior aircraft from Southend Airport.

He will travel 2,000 miles in two and a half days.

The challenge is being mounted in aid of the Tree of Hope charity, which is helping support Devon toddler Jenson Tucker.

Funds are being raised to help the three-year-old, who has cerebral palsy and epilepsy, go to the USA for an operation to help his condition.

Paul said: “Jenson’s family live near where I have a holiday home in Devon, so that is how I heard about his story.

“I wanted to raise £5,000 for the cause and just the other day, I managed to pass that amount in sponsorship pledges, which is fantastic.”

For the journey Paul, who got his pilot’s licence 14 years ago, is being joined by a navigator, Roger Filbee. Pit-stops are set up at Newcastle, Kirkwall and Haverfordwest.

Before he set off, Paul said: “Hopefully, if the weather holds out, it is going to be a really fun trip. I am going to take a camera along with me to take some snaps while we are going along.”