A HEREFORDSHIRE youngster who is still too young to drive recently took to the skies for his first solo fixed-wing flight with Herefordshire Aero Club.

Charlie Wilson first flew at 14, and became one of the youngest pilots to solo in a glider with the Herefordshire Gliding Club at Shobdon Airfield, towed to 2000 feet by his dad Shaun before making a solo landing to win his BGA silver ‘C’ on his 16th birthday.

Charlie was taught to fly by Shaun, a pilot flying business jets and working as an instructor.


"I was 17 when I started," says Shaun, "so he's got a few years on me!

"I was really impressed on the first flight he took me on. He's a completely different person when he's flying."

Having recently left school in Bewdley Charlie has now started an electrical course at college, and, Shaun reports, "A few months ago, he said 'I am going to get a job and pay for my flying myself' and got a job at McDonald's."

Charlie's ambition is to follow in Shaun's footsteps and become a pilot. "He wants to get his PPL (private pilot licence) and then do training exams. He has just won a scholarship to become an instructor on gliders from the British Gliding Association."