Five-Year-Old in China Latest Child "Pilot"

No one hurt in latest young pilot stunt.

He Yide

He Yide

In the latest “record” attempt involving very young pilots, a five-year-old boy from China has become the youngest person to fly an aircraft, according to reports from Chinese media this week. Many hundreds of parents of three-year-olds who have briefly let their child take the controls might differ on this point, though.

He Yide, who goes by the nickname Duoduo, remained airborne in an ultralight for a total of 35 minutes during a flight above Hebei province over the weekend. He was accompanied by an instructor, who “only helped a little,” according to the report. The flight, which covered a distance of 30 km, took place after the child completed 20 days of flying lessons.

Writing online about the event, the boy’s father, who has come to be known as “Eagle Dad” as a result of his stern parenting style, said, “His first flight was very successful, and he wasn’t scared at all.”

In 1996 a seven-year-old named Jessica Dubroff died in a crash along with her father and her flight instructor while she tried to become the youngest "pilot" to fly an airplane across the United States. The trip made Dubroff a short-lived celebrity as the national media covered the story extensively. Flying chose not to cover the Dubroff flight. We did report on the tragic aftermath, however, and continue to discourage in the strongest possible way age-related aviation record attempts. The FAI, the organization that oversees international records does not recognize any such attempts.

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