An 18-year-old has become the UK’s youngest qualified commercial pilot after his mum sacrificed hugely to fund his dream. Seth Van Beek received his license to fly passenger airlines after completing an intensive £85,000 (approximately, N40m) flight school course in Greece.
According to Metro Uk, after 18 months of training and 150 hours in the air, he passed with flying colours. He owes his success to his mum Frances, 42, who is originally from Zimbabwe. Frances downsized her three-bedroom Milton Keynes home for a flat to pay for her son’s course.
The teenager, who was top of his class, says he wanted to succeed to make his mum proud. He said:
“People have to chase their dreams, and I’ve been so lucky, being able to make my dream my career because of my mum. None of this would have been possible without her – I love her to pieces!”
Finance manager Frances said:
“When I start to think about everything, I get so overwhelmed.
I didn’t have a proper education, so I have always pushed Seth to make sure that he accomplishes what he really wants.
For years I have told him that as long as he has faith and believes in himself, he will be able to achieve anything he sets his mind to.
To think he’s the youngest licensed commercial pilot in the UK – it blows me away.”
The teenager began dreaming of becoming a pilot when he was eight years old after being taken “on holidays to see the world” by his mum. He began attending prestigious Mediterranean flight academy Egnatia Aviation Training College when he was 17.
One of 14 students, Seth – who opted to learn in Greece so he could break the world record – practiced practical flying at Kavala International Airport every three months, taking to the skies five-times-a-week during these periods.
He spent 828 hours studying learning theory and averaged an exam score of 90.6%. He graduated in September at the top of his class and received his license from the European Aviation Safety Agency a month later at age 18, beating a record previously held by Luke Elsworth who passed aged 19.