Naas teenager is allowed to fly before he can drive

Kevin Singleton first flew solo when he was only 16

Paul O'Meara

Reporter:

Paul O'Meara

Email:

paul@leinsterleader.ie

Naas teenager is allowed to fly before he can drive

Kevin Singleton is pictured with Trevor Kellett at the National Flight Centre having qualified to hold a pilot's licence

Meet the teenager who’s allowed to fly before he is permitted to drive.

Naas CBS student Kevin Singleton is the proud holder of private pilot licence (PPL).

The 17 year-old has yet to undertake his car theory test, which must be passed before he can seek a driver permit.

A PPL is for private use only and cannot be used for hire or reward.

“The licence allows me to fly for recreation only, so I can’t get paid to fly anyone around, and I can only fly small aircraft with one engine. I love the freedom of flying, it allows you to soar with the birds and fly almost anywhere,” he said, adding that the staff and his peers in Naas CBS have always been very supportive of me and continue to be. “I love my school.”

Two years ago he celebrated his 16th birthday with a solo flight in a twin seater aircraft at Weston Airport.

He said at the time: “While sixteenth birthday solos aren’t unheard of, they’re rather uncommon and as far as I know I was the first to do one. It lasted about five or ten minutes. I can’t remember how long exactly, I was focussed on flying the aircraft. While soloing earlier than planned was always a possibility, I never really expected it to happen.” Kevin told the Leader.

At the start of the flight Kevin, who lives in Dún na Ríogh, Naas, was accompanied by an instructor who left the aircraft after two circuits of the airfield.

He then ran into the terminal to tell his Dad to get his camera (his Mum missed the first flight because of work commitments).

Having been cleared by the tower via radio he taxied on to the runway and “my nerves disappeared.”

Once the Cessna 152 twin seater was identified by the tower and he got the go ahead, Kevin pushed the throttle fully forward and left the ground for the first time as “captain” of the aircraft.