Doncaster student qualifies as a pilot aged just 16

An aviation-mad Doncaster student is celebrating after he passed his private pilot’s licence before he could legally drive a car.

Friday, 2nd July 2021, 12:51 pm

Owen Dungworth has wanted to be a pilot since he was two years old – and now he’s elated after gaining his wings at the age of just 16.

His ambition is to be a commercial pilot and he was determined to pass his private pilot’s licence before he could drive which he now has done thanks to his hard work, determination and the help of Yorkshire Aero Club.

Owen passed the tough Private Pilot Licence (PPL) skills test on Thursday (July 1).

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Owen Dungworth has passed his private pilot licence aged just 16.

And his remarkable achievement of gaining his wings at the age of 16 makes him and is one of the youngest in Doncaster to qualify.

The former Hungerhill School pupil said:"I’ve been dreaming of this moment for so many years.

"Flying has always interested me. My parents said since I was two and we used to go on holiday I used to sit and look at planes in the window. I’ve always been interested in it."To do it at just 16 is quite incredible. I’m up with the youngest to have done it.”

He completed the test in a Cessna 150 aircraft having done just 47 hours training – 45 hours is the minimum.

Owen said: "It all comes down to the skills test. It’s a two-and-a half hours exam where you have to demonstrate a full ‘nav through’.

“I flew up to North Yorkshire, round and back again – then then you do things like stalling the aircraft and recovering it, some spiral dives

He then flew back to circuits at Sandtoft airfield., where he had to demonstrate his ability to land without an engine, landing without flaps and landing without speed brakes.

Based at Doncaster Sheffield Airport and Sandtoft Airfield, Yorkshire Aero Club offers introductory flying lessons, aircraft hire and flight training.

He has completed just over 10 hours solo. and started flying when he was 14.

"It’s a tough two and a half hour test. Then you get tested about the aircraft, how you fly it and how it works,” said Owen.

"The club has been brilliant with me,” said Owen. I’ve really enjoyed learning to fly with them.

"My instructor James has been absolutely fantastic.

“He’s always helped me out and he was so confident in me. I wasn’t so confident in the test but he instills confidence in you . Owen is not even old enough to drive and has not even got a provisional licence.

"That’s always been the dream and my ambition to fly before I can drive – now it’s come true,” he said.

In October on his 17th birthday he will send off the paperwork and get his private pilot’s licence which means he can take a British registered plane and fly it anywhere in the world with other people in with him as long as he doesn’t use it for any commercial gain.

Owen hopes to become a commercial pilot after he has completed his A Levels at Hallcroft School.

His dad Chris Dungworth said:”Owen is aviation mad and always wanted to be a pilot from the age of two. As parents Sarah Marshall Dungworth and myself are extremely proud of him and his success.

“It’s what he has always wanted. If there are any flight schools out there looking for a hard working, dedicated, ambitious future commercial pilot please get in touch.”