December 27, 2018

Fourteen-year-old Pilot Sets World Record


December 18, 2018 will be a date marked in the Guinness Book of World Records if Mohammad Faizy’s solo flight meets the organization’s requirements, and all signs are that it does.

Mississauga teen Faizy, who goes by the nickname ‘Momo’, turned fourteen on December 12, which was the day he hoped to break the record. “I’m feeling very proud and very happy,” said Faizy, a student at Mississauga’s Stephen Lewis Secondary School. “We’ve been planning this for such a long time.”

Weather, however, was uncooperative, delaying his flight by four days. “I’m kind of disappointed that I didn’t do it on my birthday because that would just mean the world to me,” said Faizy, a student pilot at Brampton Flying Club. “That right when I was 14 I got a solo flight. But (14 years and) six days is also pretty good.”

In an interview with the Toronto Sun newspaper, Faizy was also quoted saying, “I felt free as a bird. I felt like soaring through the air, it made me feel like so independent and I have to do everything by myself. And that’s what I really liked about solo where I had like 100 percent full control.”

Faizy’s was inspired by his older sister Zahabi, who took up flying at 15 and earned a private pilot licence at 17, and who is now training for a commercial ticket.

The record for first solo flight of an airplane was previously held by American Jonathan Strickland, who was 14 years and four months old on the day of his record-setting flight at Vancouver/Boundary Bay airport (CZBB) in 2006. Strickland, now 26, went on to become the youngest airline captain in the U.S. by the time he reached the age of 23. Americans under the age of 16 often come to Canada for first solos as the minimum age for soloing in the U.S. is 16.