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Sussex boy Piers Murray becomes youngest solo pilot at just 15
This fifteen-year-old cannot drive a car – but he can fly a plane.
Piers Murray from Cowfold became the youngest pilot to fly solo in Sussex when he took the two-seater K21 glider plane out on Monday.
After flying at 2,000 feet and reaching speeds of 60mph, Piers said: “It felt amazing to finally go solo.
“I used to pass the Southdown Gliding Club when I played for the rugby team next door and always wanted to try it.
“I finally started flying this summer and Iamaddicted. I wasn’t sure I would enjoy flying a plane with no engine, but I love it.
“This is just the beginning – there is more to come when I start entering cross country competitions next year.”
Piers, a pupil at Reigate Grammar School, flies on the weekend during school term.
Last year European Law changed, meaning youngsters aged 14 and above could fly solo in glider planes.
Piers completed the training that normally takes around three months in six weeks.
His parents, Keith and Karen Murray, said: “Piers couldn’t have done this without the support of members and instructors at Southdown.
“We’re really impressed with how the club have encouraged him.”
Dave Clews from Southdown Gliding Club said: “We are so proud of Piers. It is even more remarkable because he has completed the training in record time.
“He is very talented young man and will go a long way.”
Another pilot, Georgina Kloos, became the first female cadet to go solo last week when she also flew in a twoseater K21 glider at the club.
She said after her flight: “It’s nice not having someone to tell me what to do.
“I love flying and do it as often as I can.”
Georgina and Piers are currently part of the Southdown Gliding Club’s cadet scheme, which heavily subsidise flying costs for youngsters that show talent and enthusiasm for flying.
The next step for the youngsters is to move to a single seat glider and enter cross country competitions.
For more information about the club, membership and trial flights, visit the website southdowngliding.co.uk.
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