A WHITCHURCH schoolboy was able to take to the skies for a solo flying mission on his 16th birthday recently.

Eddie Luft, 16, attends Sir John Talbot’s School in Whitchurch and recent was able to have his first solo helicopter flight, taking off as soon as the law allowed him.

With ambitions to become an air ambulance pilot and a wider career in the aviation industry, Eddie now has a year before he can legally carry passengers.

This is something dad Tim says he cannot wait to experience and was full of praise for his son’s efforts in acquiring his solo licence.


“He’s been doing it for around two years – thankfully the weather was nice he and was able to because it was his 16th birthday,” said Tim.

“It’s only then that he’s allowed to fly solo.

“It was great for him to do it because it’s not really a normal thing to do to celebrate turning 16.

Whitchurch Herald:

“He’s very persistent about it and wants it to be his career so we’re more than happy to support him.

“Eventually he wants to become a pilot so that’s what he’s working towards.

“He can only fly solo for now but he’s got a year to get his licence (to carry passengers) so hopefully he’ll get nice weather and take passengers up.

“I’m looking forward to flying with him in the future.”

Tim said that Eddie was guided by instructors at Halfpenny Green Airport, in Wolverhampton, and he thanked them.

He said: “All the hard work by AA Helicopters and his instructor Jason Davenhill came to fruition on his 16th birthday, the first eligible date for a person to fly solo in the UK.

“Luckily for Eddie and the team at AA the weather held out for him to achieve this accolade and made his birthday dreams come true when he took to the skies solo in an R22 Helicopter at Halfpenny Green Airport.

“Eddie’s longer term aim is to establish a career in aviation in the future.”

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Alan Austin, owner of AA Helicopters, also praised Eddie’s efforts.

He said: “Eddie was highly professional and had great control of the helicopter - we hope to welcome Eddie as in instructor one day in the future.

“This was an excellent achievement for someone so young.”