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Tuesday, 02 September 2014

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Cumbrian boy can fly plane before he has learned to drive car

While most 16-year-olds dream of having their own car, Adam McDonald from Carlisle wants his own plane.

Adam McDonald photo
Adam McDonald

The Trinity School sixth form pupil has become one of the youngest in the country to gain his private pilot’s licence.

Adam, who lives at Houghton, passed his test with Carlisle Flight Training Limited at the city’s airport on Friday and had a family barbecue to celebrate.

He said: “I love flying. My mum works at the airport and I’ve been interested in flying since I was a child.

“I did 52 hours and 45 minutes of flying to pass my exam but quite a lot of people take longer than that. The minimum is 45 hours.

“I started flying in 2007 and I saved about £1,000 by washing the planes for the flying school at Carlisle Airport in return for free instruction. Lessons can cost about £150 but you have to pay for landing fees so it all adds up.”

Adam can’t fly solo until he turns 17 on April 25.

“It’s strange because I can fly solo then but I haven’t got my first driving lesson until May 12, so I can fly before I can drive.”

Adam is now waiting for his log books to come back from London’s Gatwick Airport, but is already charting a career in the clouds.

He said: “I’d love to fly a Boeing 747 for an airline like BA or Virgin. My dream is to be a commercial pilot.

“I’m not sure where I will go on my solo flight. I’ve flown from Carlisle to Durham Tees Valley and Newcastle before.

“My family will be wanting me to fly them overseas before long but I’ll need my own plane. I love flying. It’s great being up in the skies and I enjoy the take-off and landing.

“I’d like to thank Helen and Alan at the flying school.”

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