Callum Davies is a 16 year old student pilot that flies out of Barton Airport in Manchester, England. He soloed on the 10th of August, 2013 in an Evektor EV-97 Eurostar. Prior to solo flight, Callum had 19.25 hours of flight training.
From a very young age I had always wanted to become a fire-fighter until one day my father asked me what I really wanted to do. My answer still being a fire-fighter. He told me that the salary isn’t as good compared to other jobs. He told me to come back to him the next day when I had found a job that I will enjoy, get paid well and never regret doing.
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Then after having my first flying lesson in a Cessna 172 at the age of 14 I realized that I would be taking on a huge commitment if flying was to become my future career.
With flying lessons put aside till 15 once I had become more competent with aviation I then took up flying lessons on the Evektor EV-97 Eurostar in June 2012.
With living in England it is very hard to get the right combination of weather as the visibility, wind, precipitation and cloud formations never seem to be balanced when you want them to be.
Despite all this I didn’t give up and slowly but surely I worked my way up to solo stage after nearly 20 hours of hard work which had to fit around my school studies and other commitments in my spare time.
Then on the 10th august with reasonable visibility, light winds and the odd one or two thermals, myself and my Instructor Marcus went for a flight in the early afternoon. After around 40 minutes of doing circuits and practicing all we could which would be required for anything unlucky to happy during my solo we decided it was time to land. I was ready to taxi to the apron and get out until he asked, ‘’how do you think you did’’, ‘’not too bad’’ I replied, ‘’well I’m going to get out now and you can do it all by yourself’’.
I was nervous but very excited at the same time as after just over a year the time had finally arrived for me to do my first ever solo circuit. I taxied out and took off on runway 27 left at Barton (Manchester-England). After doing a circuit it was time for my final approach, I knew that I was all alone now and there was no room for mistakes.
With about 3 feet above the runway to go, I slowly eased back on the stick and let the wheels kiss the ground. Giving myself marks out of 10, I would probably say 12, very modest of myself!
After taxying back to the apron it was time to get out and be back down safe on terra firma!
So…what are my plans for the future?
Well once I have completed my PPL and started my hour building on either a Cessna or Piper, I would love to do my module flight training and hopefully one day become and airline pilot.
That may sound like a big thing to say at the age of 16 but given how far I have come from one day sitting back and wanting to become a fire-fighter to the next flying solo at the age of 16, I think that is something to be certainly quite proud of and other young pilots should feel the same too!
Of course all this didn’t come without lots of hard work and commitment as well as a lot of saving up, but it definitely proves that once you have your eyes set on something you should never give up. At first it might feel like you are getting nowhere but trying and looking forward is better than not trying and looking back wishing you did try!
I would like to thank my 4 instructors who have played a massive part along the way in getting me to where I am now, as well as various pilots who have took me flying with them in the right hand seat!
To date I have over 50 hours flying experience and of those hours, 30 of them are flying with various pilots as a passenger! I would like to thank everybody involved in getting me to where I am now and maybe ten years down the line you might just be hearing my voice when your onboard an aircraft, jetting away on your holidays!
I'm sure you're going to do some great things in aviation, flying commercially later on. If I'm ever in Manchester, I'll make sure to take a lesson in that Evektor!