Meet the 14-year-old air cadet who became the U.K.'s youngest pilot
TORONTO -- Maksim Ferguson became fascinated with flying at the age of five and that passion has taken him to heights that the world’s oldest Air Force has never seen before.
On Wednesday, the 14-year-old boy from Southport, England became the youngest person in the history of the United Kingdom’s Royal Air Force to earn his Civilian “C” Wings, a milestone in flight training.
“Many years ago...I was on this airfield waiting for my first flight," Eddie Chanoler, a retired RAF Wing commander, told CTV News. "The reality is that it took another three years before I acheived my first solo wings, so Max is a rather special young man."
To earn the accreditation, Ferguson needed to complete a solo flight, but in the U.K., you must be at least 16 years old to do so.
In Canada, however, young pilots are allowed to fly alone under certain circumstances, so Ferguson made the trip to southern Ontario last April -- just after his 14th birthday -- to compete the solo flight circuit more than 300 metres in the air in a four-seater aircraft.
That flight earned him the distinction of being the youngest person from the U.K. to fly a plane alone.
“Obviously, it is very nerve-wracking,” he said. “When I taxied unto the ramp...all the instructors came out clapped and everything.”
During the flight, Ferguson also earned his Canadian Student Pilot Permit.