Mark Webber is planning to gain a pilot's licence with help from Australian airline Qantas.

10770 - Webber learns to fly

Webber is an ambassador for the Qantas brand and posed for photos at Heathrow on Wednesday as part of a PR stunt to announce his plans. He sat in the cockpit of the world's largest passenger aircraft, a double decker Airbus A380, but the closest he has got to flying a full-sized commercial jet is in virtual reality.

"Flying is something that has always fascinated me," Webber said. "It was so exciting to have the opportunity to fly over the Albert Park Formula One circuit in a Qantas B737 simulator earlier this year and it really consolidated my passion to fly an aircraft one day. This is a new challenge for me and as a Qantas Ambassador I'm grateful to have the support of the team at Qantas and learn from the best in the business."

Qantas CEO Alan Joyce gave some further details: "Qantas will provide mentoring support with one of the airline's training pilots and time in the Qantas flight simulators. Qantas will also recommend an approved pilot training organisation in order for Mark to learn to fly. I'm sure Mark's driving skills and his excellent hand/eye coordination will put him in good stead in learning to fly an aircraft."