Photo Credit: Marc Herbrechter
16-Year-Old Black Teen Becomes Youngest Glider Pilot In U.S.
Caleb Smith, a 16-year-old young man from Prince George’s County, MD, is now the youngest glider pilot in the United States, according to WUSA9.
A sophomore at Charles H. Flowers High School, Caleb has had an interest in aviation for some years now.
He got his intro to the world of flying on his 10th birthday when he went on a discovery flight at Bowie Freeway Airport. From time to time, he would fly with a Certified Flight Instructor (CFI) and eventually began receiving one-on-one private ground instruction and air time, continuing his lessons throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
This past May, Caleb was awarded a scholarship from Virginia’s Skyline Soaring Club at Front Royal Airport to attend gliding school. After 33 flights, he was able to fly his very first solo flight, and he currently has 12 solo flights under his belt. Caleb has now passed his written exam and check ride with the Federal Aviation Administration and has officially obtained his glider pilot’s license, making him the youngest private glider pilot in the U.S.
According to BlackNews.com, the accomplished teen credits Skyline Soaring Club as well as Destiny Aviation Services for their guidance and support in helping him pursue his goal and achieve this record-breaking accomplishment.
He and his family hope his story will inspire other young people and let them know that they too can live their dreams if they just stay connected with God, remain family oriented, achieve a good education, maintain values, and above all, cultivate love and respect for others.