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Take to the skies

What is the life of a British Airways pilot really like? Now your kids can find out in a new series of illustrated books written by a real-life BA pilot, Captain Rob Johnson.

Captain Rob dreamed of flying planes from an early age. When he was 18, he borrowed money from his parents to complete his private pilot’s licence. He became a captain in 2007 and then, afterwards, a training captain. He first had the idea of writing the Pilot Ollie & Pilot Polly books for his own kids, as they were always asking him about the places he’d been. ‘At bedtime, I would tell my two boys all about my adventures that day, so the books really wrote themselves,’ says Rob.

The first series of three books, aimed at three- to eight-year-olds, follows the character’s adventures in Rome and Madrid, along with Come Fly with Us, which looks at the day-to-day life of a pilot. Whimsically illustrated by Stuart Buckley, they're sure to inspire and educate kids. To bring it all together, Rob has also produced a special travel set with all three books.

A new series will explore New York, London and airport travel. Pilot Ollie & Pilot Polly’s Amazing Adventures – London is based on a fly-past down the River Thames to celebrate the Queen’s birthday, followed by afternoon tea at the palace. The second book, Pilot Ollie & Pilot Polly’s Guide to the Airport, explains to young travellers exactly what happens at the big scary airport before their flight.

To buy Pilot Ollie & Pilot Polly books, visit planecharacters.com. Your kids will love this interactive site, where you can learn more about the characters, and download pictures to colour in – handy for long flights! The new books and travel set are also available at amazon.co.uk

The prize

Family Traveller is offering one lucky reader the chance to win a personalised hardback A4 copy of Pilot Ollie’s Amazing Adventures – Rome, featuring your child’s name in the story and signed by Captain Rob. Three runners-up will also receive a signed set of the first series of books in paperback, including Pilot Ollie’s Amazing Adventures – Rome, Pilot Polly’s Amazing Adventures – Madrid and Pilot Ollie & Pilot Polly – Come Fly With Us.

Competition closes at 23:59 on 31 October