Meet the pilots who love what they do (most of them) and have a range of skills and aspirations.
Head of the Little Duckling School
Age: Refused to answer
Favourite colour: Royal blue
Favourite food: Duck-chy birdseed
Lieutenant Drake comes from a long line of early flyers, all the way back to his great, great, great grandparents. His father could fly before he could walk and his mother was the first in her class to fly.
After passing the little duckling exam, he spent one year practising his craft in Green Park, London, right by Buckingham Palace. Whilst in London he met swans who were fed by the Queen’s butler. He is very used to socialising in high class circles.
When he’s not teaching ducklings in the countryside, he goes back to Green Park for a month in the summer to give refresher flying lessons to the signets. He finds ducklings are easier to teach. In his spare time he likes to watch YouTube videos of spitfires in flight.
Age: 8 years old
Favourite colour: Purple
Favourite food: Blueberries
Mya has had an obsession with aeroplanes since she was able to spot them in the sky as a baby in her buggy. Unfortunately her Dad passed away when she was two, but she has taken on much of his looks and his love of planes. She has her mum’s creative talents for putting costumes together, and loves painting model aeroplanes. She wants to be a pilot like her uncle who is her dad’s brother.
At school she enjoys geography lessons the best. But only when they focus on her favourite continents such as Africa and Asia, because they have the coolest looking animals like elephants and hippos. When she is older she plans to visit every country in the world.
Age: 40 days old
Favourite colour: Yellow (of course)
Favourite food: Bird seed
Goose is a young enthusiastic duckling who is incredibly keen to fly as quickly as possible. The average duckling learns to fly in fifty to sixty days and he’s determined to fly by day fifty. His goal is to be a member of the Yellow Bills aerobatic team and learn tricks like ‘Falling Leaf’ and the ‘Bird flight’ as soon as he passes his little duckling exams.
His best friend is Plum Sauce and in his spare time he and his friends like to sneak off to the local park early in the morning when humans aren’t there and try out the slides and swings. Goose loves the slides the best as he uses it as a launch pad to help him practice take off. Sometimes it works well and other times it’s not so successful, but Goose never gives up.
Age: 11 years old
Favourite colour: Green
Favourite food: Oatmeal, sweetcorn and frozen peas
Officer Peacock is the first one legged mallard to join the Yellow Bills aerobatic team. After her first six months there, she was promoted to team leader. She has participated in at least one hundred and twenty shows during her career. She also takes new ducklings out on a test flight to assess if they are exam ready.
Before the air show season she works with her team on their display during the winter months. The team head to Cyprus during this time to practice in the warm climate and ensure all the crew are flight perfect before their show. This can mean up to eight hours of training a day over several months.
When she is back in the UK she likes to socialise with friends at the local pond in her spare time.
(Our non pilot)
Age: 11 years old
Favourite colour: Grey and red (like his mood)
Favourite food: His guilty pleasure is bread
Mr Sour is a teacher at the little duckling flying school. He was in the same class as Officer Peacock but was unable to join the Yellow Bills due to the limited number of flying hours he accumulated, as he was too busy bossing everyone else around in the class.
As a teacher he believes lessons and fun do not go together. Flying is serious business.
In his spare time he likes to enjoy the finer things in life. He eats at the best ponds in town and never likes to try a new venue unless it’s on an ‘invite only’ basis. He is a complete snob, but he does secretly follow humans along the river in the hope of getting bread.
Illustrations by Ste Johnson