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ZIMBABWEAN Seth Van Beek 18, from Preston, is now UK’s youngest licensed commercial pilot, after completing 18 months training and clocked up 150 hours in the air before he passed with flying colours.
An 18-year old has become the UK’s youngest qualified pilot after his mum sold her home to help pay for flight school.
Seth Van Beek received his licence after completing 18 months training and clocked up 150 hours in the air before he passed with flying colours.
He always dreamed of becoming a pilot since the age of eight so his mum Frances, 42, decided to sell their three-bed home to fund his dream.
Seth, from Preston, London, is now the UK’s youngest licensed commercial pilot, a record previously held by Luke Elsworth, who passed when he was 19.
Seth said: “Flying has always been my dream. There was nothing else that I had ever wanted to do, and there is nothing I would contemplate doing.
“You don’t have a single epiphany where you realise that you want to be something or do something, it comes from experience.
“My mum was an avid traveller when she was younger, and when I was a boy she’d take us on holidays to see the world.
“I loved everything about flying – even the fact that a 300-tonne tube of metal can basically be shot up into the air and fly for up to 12 hours.
“As I grew up, my love became a passion, and I’m so grateful that the experience of training didn’t discourage me, like training can.
“If anything, I knew there and then this would be what I did for my whole life. To be honest, I took very naturally to flying – there’s no feeling like it.
“When you are flying manually, you are in charge. It’s a big responsibility, but it’s exhilarating, and that means flying’s an honour.
“And I’ve always felt safer flying in a plane, or flying one, than travelling on a bus or driving a car – though I do have a driver’s licence!
“People have to chase their dreams, and I’ve been so lucky, being able to make my dream my career because of my mum.
“None of this would have been possible without her – I love her to pieces!”
Seth left school in Zimbabwe after his GCSEs and attended Egnatia Aviation Training College after passing gruelling entrance exams in January 2018, aged 16.
In April 2018, having turned 17 on March 4, he then began 18 months’ training at the prestigious Mediterranean flight academy.
Though he could have trained in the UK, Seth said he chose to learn in Greece so he could break the world record – and “because the weather was better”. mirror
Seth pictured here with his mum Frances (Image: Seth Van
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