First solo flight at sixteen

After two and a half years of training and 22 flying lessons, sixteen-year-old Charlie Hawes made the flight from Leicester Airport.

Such is Charlie’s determination, he has funded all his flying lessons himself, from doing part-time jobs outside of school hours, and his next step is to gain his PPL when he turns 17.

His first solo flight coincided with Charlie’s birthday and he completed his circuits in a Cessna 152. “I was nervous on the journey to the airport,” he says. “But once I was in the plane I was fine. My family came to watch which was nice and reassuring.”

Charlie flew to a maximum height of 1,000ft before touching down and then completing a second circuit and landing. “It was over so quickly,” he says. “It was a bit windy but conditions were good. I want to thank my instructor, David Shutter, for all the support he has given me.”

Charlie took his first training flight in September 2013, it had been his ambition to fly ever since he attended an open day at the airport, and he hopes one day to become a commercial pilot.