Kiwi teen breaks young solo flying record

Kiwi teen breaks young solo flying record

A south Canterbury teenager has broken the unofficial and little-known world record for the amount of flights flown on his 16th birthday.

The young aviator flew 16 planes on the first day he was legally allowed to fly solo, beating the old record by two flights.

It was a birthday present Ross Brodie had been dreaming of for more than a decade.

"It was a real thrill knowing that my childhood dream really had just been achieved, something I'd been waiting for my whole life," he says. "It was very special."

Half of the planes were borrowed from friends, but with the rest coming from the family aerodrome, flying is in Ross' genes.

"I'm a fourth-generation pilot now," he says. "My great-grandfather, also named Ross, he flew in the First World War. My grandfather was flying in the '50s and [my] father is of course a flying instructor."

But what started out as an idea took years of training and dedication leading up to the big day, when he had to fly some single-seaters for the first time.

"It was a big day," father Russell Brodie says. "It was a really big day but I couldn't be more proud. He did it just as well as I thought he would – even better maybe."

With his sights set on a career in aviation, Ross is determined to keep pushing himself to see how far he can go.

"The sky's [the] limit really. We'll see what happens."

Just how he's going to top it next year is still up in the air.

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