Most 18-year-olds are still trying to find out what they want to become in life.
They’re also often only starting to master how to drive a car. But not Seth Van Beek.
In fact, Seth Van Beek has mastered something more than just driving a car. He’s actually a qualified commercial airline pilot, the UK’s youngest.
Watch to learn more of his story below!
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Video credit: Rumble
He had wanted to become a pilot since he was eight but Seth wouldn’t have been able to achieve this remarkable feat without his mother who sold their family home to fund his education. But it was certainly worth the sacrifice!
Seth got his license to fly passenger planes in October following almost 18 months of training. He had to take his flight school course in Greece and spent a total of 150 hours in the air before passing with flying colors.
For now, Seth is looking for a job but hopes to eventually fly for British Airways.
Seth, from north-west London, explained how he came to love flying: “My mom was an avid traveler when she was younger, and when I was a boy she’d take us on holidays to see the world.
“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!”
After doing his GCSEs, Seth left school at 16. He underwent grueling entrance exams to get into Egnatia Aviation Training College in Greece. He commenced his training in April 2018 and flew at Greece’s Kavala International Airport in-between his theoretical classes.
During his practical flying sessions, he would be up in the air five times a week. At first, he would just fly for an hour but that built up to five hours per flight. He graduated at the top of his class in September and got his license from the European Aviation Safety Agency a month later.
Seth’s 42-year-old mother Frances put their three-bedroom home in Milton Keynes up for sale and got a flat so that they could cough up the money needed for his course and accommodation fees.
Seth said: “I wanted to be top of my class so that I could show her that it was worth everything.”
Frances, originally from Zimbabwe, said: “I didn’t have a proper education, so I have always pushed Seth to make sure he accomplishes what he really wants.”
If he manages to fly for British Airways, he can easily repay his mother’s sacrifice as some captains earn at least £200,000($260,000) a year.