26th Jun, 2022

Coventry-based aspiring pilot takes first big step to fulfill his childhood dream

Ian Hughes 3rd Mar, 2017

TEENAGER Harry Johnson took a huge step towards his dream of becoming a commercial airline pilot this week when he took to the air at Coventry Airport for his first solo flight just days after his 16th birthday.

Harry first flew at 13 after he was bought a flying experience, and immediately bitten by the flying bug, started lessons aged 14.

For young pilots, the first time they are able to complete a solo flight is their 16th birthday but Harry was thwarted by poor weather conditions so he completed the task just a few days later on Sunday (February 19), aged just 16 and 6 days.

For Harry, a student of Almat Aviation at Coventry Airport, this takes him a step closer to his dream.

He told The Observer: “I have wanted to be a pilot for as long as I can remembed.

“Flying has always captivated me and having the chance to fly solo so early is an opportunity that I’m extremely grateful for. I was apprehensive but the whole experience has only increased my passion for flying.”

Harry’s family could not be prouder of his achievements.

“I’m extremely proud of Harry completing his first solo flight so competently,” said Harry’s dad Stuart. “I don’t think I took a breath until he landed safely. I just know that he has the ability to realise his dream, he certainly has the drive and passion.”

To gain his private pilot’s licence, Harry needs to be 17, have 45 hours of flying experience and pass flying competency tests. After his A levels, Harry will be approaching airlines with a view to being taken on for their commercial pilots training courses.

His flying instructor was full of praise for his young student.

“Harry is a delight to teach,” said Ken Evans. “He is an excellent student whose flying is very accurate.”

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