TEENAGER Ariane Edge was just 15 years old when she decided to shoot for the stars – and just two years later she is on her way.
After completing her first solo flight in May last year, Ariane, 17, has successfully gone on to be the youngest person to achieve her full private pilot’s licence (PLL) at Phoenix Aviation, where she learned to fly.
Due to her age, the course took a total of two years to complete, compared to the typical 18 months – as pilots must be 16 to complete a solo fly and 17 to get a licence.
Ariane is already planning to spread her wings as a fully licensed pilot on a flight to France in a Piper PA 28 aircraft to see her grandparents.
She said: ‘It will be good to fly over and see my family.’
The PLL training course was offered to Ariane on sponsorship by Phoenix Aviation after she displayed a natural talent and intuition for flying when she was on work experience with them.
It feels like quite a big achievement to go flying on your own.Ariane Edge
One of her instructors, Frank Thompson, said: ‘She has that ability to pilot an aircraft without thinking about it – most people are too mechanical.
‘I can’t wait for her to go out on her own. It’s lovely to see someone her age getting her full licence.’
He added: ‘We are all so proud of her, she is our youngest qualified pilot.’
Ariane said that she loved flying with her instructors but flying solo is her favourite.
When she is not out flying, Ariane attends Bay House Sixth Form, in Gosport, where she is completing her second year of A-levels.
She is hoping to apply for a career as a pilot in the RAF once she has finished.
She said: ‘It feels like quite a big achievement to go flying on your own.
‘I just want to say thank you to my instructors for getting me through the course, they have been really good.
‘I am also quite proud of myself.’
Phoenix Aviation are based at the control tower at Lee-on-the-Solent Airfield where they boast superb views across the airfield.
They are a CAA registered training facility that offers flying tuition, ground school and ground exams for the PLL, Light Aircraft Pilot Licence, National Private Pilot’s Licence and Mircrolight.
To find out more go to phoenixaviation.net.