A young pilot from Peterhead celebrated his 16th birthday recently and marked the occasion in a way that he certainly won’t forget.
Calvin Thain, currently in fourth year at Peterhead Academy turned 16 on March 10, the day he was allowed to fly unsupervised for the first time.
The teenager has wanted to become a pilot for as long as he can remember and started flying after turning 14 in 2013 at Cabro Aviation, based at Aberdeen Airport.
Speaking to the Buchanie, Calvin said: “Since starting flying lessons back in 2014 the thing I’ve wanted to do most is fly solo which is why I did it as soon as I possibly could on my 16th birthday.
“I really wanted to do my first solo on the day of my birthday because 16 is the minimum age that allows you to fly solo.
“On the day I flew from Aberdeen to Dundee whith my instructor James Pearson and then James jumped out and I did my first solo.
“I then landed in Dundee, picked James up and we flew back to Aberdeen.
“Due to it being my birthday, Aberdeen’s air traffic controllers allowed me to do another solo at Aberdeen, which was lucky as this isn’t usually permitted during the week because commercial traffic is so busy.”
Calvin explained how he felt about taking on his first solo flight: “On the day I was a little bit nervous but I felt 100 per cent ready to do it, the weather was perfect and the flight was amazing!”
Calvin has been working hard towards gaining his Private Pilots Licence as he explained: “I have 35 hours flying time, of which four were done at night because I am working towards getting my Night Rating.
“I have also passed two theoretical exams which were on Air Law and Operational Procedures.
“I attend evening classes organised by Cabro Aviation every second Tuesday during the winter which cover the nine topics you need to sit exams on to get your Private Pilots License (PPL).”
He added: “I started flying because I would love to pursue a career as a commercial pilot flying to different destinations every day for a large airline.
“My next goal is to get my Private Pilots License when I turn 17 and then apply to different commercial flying schools when I turn 18 which will prepare me for flying as a commercial pilot.”