A young man who has dreamed of flying planes since he was five is this week celebrating after becoming a fully qualified commercial pilot.

Twenty-five-year-old Martin Nichols, from Crundale, appeared in the Western Telegraph in 1996 when he passed his motorcycle, car and private pilot's licences, at the age of 17.

This time around, Martin passed tests in flying a twin engine aircraft, instrument rating and a commercial pilots licence exam, all of which he passed first time within the minimum time given to pass the tests, putting him in the top 15%.

Some of his training was at the Bristol Flying Centre, where he was described as an exceptional pupil.

Most of his flying has been out of Withybush Airport, Haverfordwest, and his first flight outside of Wales was from Bristol International Airport, where he coped very well.

Martin said: "It was three very stressful months where, on the weekend, when everyone else taking the test was reading over notes, I was travelling back to Pembrokeshire from Bristol to keep my business, I-Spy Security, going. One friend there actually called me 'The Machine'!"

In 2000, Martin again hit the headlines in the Telegraph after being unable to secure funding to complete his training.

He said: "Becoming a pilot is so expensive. If you were to go to Oxford to take all the necessary qualifications to get to where I am now, it would cost you £70,000.

"However, I have done it and if I can, anyone can. It's been my dream, since I was five, to fly and I have done it with help and support of my parents and my girlfriend.

"My ultimate goal is to fly a commercial plane, but I need 500 hours' experience to be able to do that."

Kelly Gammon, Martin's girlfriend, said: "I am the proudest girlfriend in the world and want to thank Martin's mother Rosemary for supporting us both so much."