A teenager has got his career off to a flying start by becoming Britain’s youngest solo pilot just two hours after turning 16.
Oliver Jarrett, who wants to be a commercial pilot, has learnt how to fly a plane before he can even drive a car.
He revealed: “I felt more comfortable when I was up on my own than when it was me and the instructor.” Oliver – who flew an Ikarus C42 for his test – said his examiner thought he was capable of passing earlier, but trainee pilots are not allowed to fly solo until they reach 16.
He has been taking lessons since 2017 and was watched on the ground during his solo effort by parents Ian, 50, Joan, 49, and his brother Connor, 11.
Oliver said: “I was born at midday and I flew my test at 2pm that same day. I’m not sure how it’s officially measured but I’m confident I’m the youngest.”
Trainee pilots can’t earn a full licence from the Civil Aviation Authority until they are 17. But Oliver, from Kings Worthy, Hants, plans to qualify as close to his 17th birthday as possible.
Training to be a commercial pilot can cost up to £120,000 so he is also setting his sights on becoming an instructor. He took off from Popham Airfield, near Basingstoke, where another student, Elizabeth Ormston, passed her flying test aged 16 years and eight days.
She flew solo for the first time just hours after sitting her English Literature GCSE, which she passed.