in Aerospace

UK's youngest pilot picks up his licence

Posted 18 June 2014 · Add Comment

A 17 year-old from Preston in Lancashire has just become the youngest current pilot in the UK.

Above: Alex was presented with his licence by Tony Rapson, Head of the CAA’s General Aviation Unit on Tuesday 17 June 2014, at Aviation House, Gatwick.

Alex Court, who flies hot air balloons, collected his Private Pilot Licence on his 17th birthday from the Gatwick office of the Civil Aviation Authority, the earliest date he could legally obtain a licence.

Alex, who passed his solo flight test on 1 June 2014, has already accumulated 36 hours flying time in 16 different balloons - having conducted his first training flight at the age of 10. His father, David Court, is himself a balloon instructor and head of training at the British Balloon and Airship Club, the UK’s only current balloon Approved Training Organisation.

Congratulating Alex on his achievement, Ian Chadwick, the CAA’s balloon specialist, said: “We would like to wish Alex well for the future. He has already amassed considerable flying experience at a young age, having flown abroad as well as in the UK. Alex sets an example to all young people interested in flying by showing that dedication and perseverance can pay off.”

As well as undertaking a supervised, solo flight of at least 30 mins, Alex also had to undertake at least 16 hours of flight instruction, and carry out 10 inflations and 20 take-offs and landings as part of his training.

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