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It would be fair to say most children don’t celebrate their 16th birthday by flying a plane through the skies.

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But that was the case for Dylan Mahmut, who battled the elements to complete the rare feat yesterday (Thurs) morning.

The Gidea Park teenager is training for his Private Pilots License at Southend Flying Club, and flew solo on the first day legally possible.

“It was really good,” he said, hours after landing,

“I’ve still got a smile on my face now, when I touched down I felt relieved but really excited too.”

With rain forecast in the area, Dylan only had a small window to get the Cessna 152 aircraft in the sky, meaning any nerves were short-lived.

“I did a few circuits with my instructor and then he got out and it hit me that there was nobody else there,” he said,

“But once you have taken off the only way to get down is to land the plane.”

The rain came soon after landing, and Dylan made his way back to Brentwood School, in Middleton Hall Lane.

Meanwhile his parents Wendy and Deniz were still taking in the experience.

“I don’t know about excited, I was very nervous!” said Wendy,

“He’s been learning to fly for two years and set himself the aim of flying solo on his 16th birthday, so it’s amazing.

“He can’t drive, or drink, but he can fly a plane on his own!”

His flying instructor Peter Shorter was also impressed.

He said: “He’s very talented and I am really pleased that he has managed to get this far so quickly.”

Dylan is also a talented golfer and represents Essex at county level, though he still has more ambitions within aviation.

“I want to do a cross country solo flight next,” said the youngster.

Dylan was not the only youngster to pilot a plane on his 16th birthday this week, for more, click the link on the right hand side.

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