Ross Brodie isn’t your typical teenager. He’s been flying with his dad since he was two years old and is quite the aircraft enthusiast. It should come as no surprise then that Ross wasn’t willing to settle for a typical “sweet sixteen” celebration earlier this month. Instead he set out to celebrate his sixteenth birthday by flying sixteen different aircrafts in one day. While the record is still being verified, his unique celebration is most certainly a story of interest in microlight aircraft news.
The early January day started off with friends and family gathering at the Rangitata, NZ aerodome. Some even brought their own aircraft for him to fly. At 7 a.m., Ross took off on his first solo trip. After landing, he told a Timaru Herald reporter, “It was such a special feeling coming down after my first solo to know that something I’ve been wanting to do all my life, to fly an aeroplane by myself, had finally happened.” The youngest a solo pilot may be under NZ law is sixteen. As we can see, Ross wasted no time.
The flights included many microlights: a Cessna 150, a CF Shadow, a Jabiru, a Stol, and a Pioneer 2000. All of the aircraft had their own personalities, Ross reported. Flying them was the best kind of celebration.
His final flight of the day was in yet another microlight, one Ross referred to as a “rag and tube” microlight- a Quicksilver with a lawn mower engine. He landed safely at 8 p.m., bringing his very sweet sixteenth birthday celebration to an end.
This is not the end of his aircraft aspirations though. Ross plans on pursuing aviation as his career, engineering aircraft and instructing as well. While we wait for final word on if this was an actual record setting day we can all celebrate with Ross- a young man who made his own dream come true.