A teen boy has become the youngest commercial airline pilot in Britain after completing his training and earning a license at the age of 18.
While most boys his age struggle to learn how to park a car in reverse, Seth Van Beek qualified to operate commercial aircraft thanks to his hard work and his mother’s ultimate sacrifice.
To make her son’s dreams come true, 42-year-old mum Frances sold her family home and moved into a small flat so that she could pay for the expensive flight course that cost over $100,000.
The 18-month training also required London-based Seth to move to Greece and complete more than 150 hours in the air.
After getting his license, the boy has revealed he hopes to gain enough experience to allow him to work for British Airways in the future.
“My mum was an avid traveler when she was younger, and when I was a boy she’d take us on holidays to see the world,” Seth said, admitting he dreamt of becoming a pilot ever since he was just 8.
“I loved everything about flying… I’ve always felt safer in a plane than traveling on a bus or driving a car – though I do have a driver’s license!”
Becoming a pilot, however, required plenty of sacrifices.
To qualify for his course at the Egnatia Aviation Training College, Seth quit his studies after finishing his GCSEs at the age of 16.
After starting his training, he underwent 14 exams and more than 150 hours of flying over the course of 18 months. He graduated in September 2019.
The biggest sacrifice of all, however, was made by Frances who sold her 3-bedroom house to be able to pay for the expensive training for her son.
“I didn’t have a proper education, so I have always pushed Seth to make sure he accomplishes what he really wants,” the mum explained.
“I wanted to be top of my class, so that I could show her that it was worth everything,” her 18-year-old son added.
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