Teen becomes youngest licensed plane and copter pilot

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Photo: Courtesy Robert Pinksten

Some teens use their summer vacations to sunbathe, or play video games, or watch TV, or sleep. But one 17-year-old in New Hampshire really has his head in the clouds.

On Thursday evening, Robert Pinksten attained a dizzying new record: He became the youngest person in aviation history to obtain licenses to pilot both helicopters and private airplanes. He qualified for his helicopter license on July 2 — his 17th birthday — and then completed requirements for his private pilot license nine days later on July 11.

For the last few months, Pinksten has been accumulating hours of helicopter and airplane flight training time. He did his first solo flight in an airplane in December 2012 after 8.6 hours of flight time with an instructor. He’s also been posting updates about his efforts on his website, RobCanFly.com.

The Federal Aviation Administration requires a pilot to be at least 17 to get a license. Now that Pinksten has completed the oral exams and check rides for his two favorite modes of transport, he can fly private airplanes that weigh less than 12,500 pounds and have single engines, as well as helicopters that weigh less than 12,500 pounds, even if they have four engines.

Original Article: www.today.com

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