THIS is the touching moment that a nine-year-old boy receives a shoutout by the pilot mid-flight on his way to a mountain-climbing charity mission.
Jacob Newson has been climbing mountains across the world since he was just five-years-old in an ongoing effort to raise funds for the RAF Benevolent Fund and St Gemma’s Hospice.
The hospice supported Jacob and his family after his mum Andrea, 49, tragically lost her battle with breast cancer just two days after Christmas in 2020.
Now the youngster from Leeds, Yorkshire wants to give back through his mountain climbing efforts, most recently conquering Toubkal – North Africa’s highest mountain – last Thursday.
Jacob and dad Andy, 55, set off from Manchester Airport the previous Saturday, landing in Marrakesh, Morocco with the aim of raising £1 for every foot of the mountain he climbed.
Aspiring pilot Jacob not only conquered the climb, but also reached his target, raising an astonishing £13,670.
This may be in part thanks to the kind shoutout the youngster received from the Ryanair pilot about his incredible mission during their flight over to Africa.
In a touching video the pilot can be heard addressing the plane full of passengers saying: “We have a very, very special guest on board, his name is Jacob and he’s only nine-years-old.
“The amazing thing about Jacob is that he has been travelling the world and climbing mountains to raise money for the hospice who looked after his mother who very sadly passed away.
“So far he’s raised an incredible £115,000. In Morocco he’ll be climbing Mount Toubkal which is North Africa’s highest peak and let me remind you this hero is only nine-years-old.”
The pilot continues: “Honestly, it is an honour to have you on board today and I know that you want to be a pilot when you’re older and with your determination I have no doubt that you’ll make an excellent captain.
“On behalf of everyone on board, we wish you good luck and thank you for all the amazing work that you’re doing for such an amazing cause.
“Now again, please can I suggest that everyone follows this young man’s journey by visiting Facebook ‘Jacob the Pilot’ or you can find him on Twitter which is Dunkirk_1940 and please support him in whatever way that you can.
“Now again let’s give Jacob a big round of applause because he definitely deserves it.”
An emotional Jacob looks back at his dad whilst anxiously biting his hand as his eyes fill with tears.
Jacob’s dad Andy shared the video to social media on Saturday with the caption: “Oh my. Thank you so much Ryanair.”
The post has since received over 7,000 likes and more than 180 comments from users left touched by the heartwarming clip.
One user wrote: “Yes yes yes yes . All the best guys, so happy the guys were able to come through. Safe journey.”
Another commented: “How cool is that. Go smash it Jacob, you really are inspiring.”
A third replied: “Well done Jacob (and Andy) and good luck with your latest adventure. Excellent work too by the Ryanair captain.”
Another user wrote: “This made me cry. Go Jacob.”
Speaking today Andy said: “I asked for the message as a surprise for Jacob on Twitter.
“It went a bit bonkers and a few pilots, ground staff and traffic controllers at Manchester airport contacted me to offer to help.
“Then Ryanair contacted me and said they’d inform the crew and wished us the best of luck with the climb.
“When we got on the aircraft the Captain took me to one side and asked me about Jacob and made the announcement shortly afterwards.
“Jacob had been feeling nervous about this particular climb (his highest climb to date) and it just made his day and boosted his confidence and loved the fact all the passengers gave him a round of applause.
“He was over the moon when he got invited into the cockpit to meet the captain when we landed in Morocco.
“I tweeted the video just before we took off and it went bonkers and Jacob’s JustGiving page received thousands of pounds in donations all thanks to Ryanair making a little boys day.
“We’ll be forever grateful to them for that 60 seconds of kindness in making Jacob’s day.
“I’m beyond proud of him. Andrea was Jacob’s main parent as I work shifts in the NHS and she worked 9-5 in the NHS.
“She used to do all the main parenting stuff like bath times, bedtime stories, homework etc and I had little involvement.
“Obviously when she passed away I had to step up and be his dad even more so and do all the things his mother did.
“It was a tough transition for us both and we both still deeply miss her. She simply was the perfect mother because that was all she wanted to be.
“I like to think of Jacob as her legacy, she was so kind, caring and generous and that’s why we do what we do as I want him to grow up with those virtues so he can look back on his life when he’s older and know he did some good in the world.
“That was all his mother wanted of him and I hope I can carry on that for her and for him.”
Andy explained the duo’s hike up the mountain, saying: “Toubkal took around 5.5 hours to summit from the base camp and about 3 hours to get back down.
“It wasn’t a problem for Jacob as he appeared to have climatized well with walking at altitude the previous two days in preparation.
“About a 1,000 feet from the top I found it hard going on my breathing as the air got thinner so we slowed down and took our time.
“When we got to the top Jacob was first (as usual) and he told me he saw his mummy which made me cry and he gave me a hug and told me he loved me which made me cry more.
“Once we stopped crying he flew his much loved RAF flag at the top which he does whenever he climbs a new mountain.”
If you wish to donate to Jacob’s cause, you can do so here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/jacob-newson8