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The shortest man in Europe to fly solo?
AT 4ft 1in, Kieran Jones could be the shortest man in Europe to fly solo.
The 23-year-old took over the controls of the microlight aircraft at Old Sarum Airfield, after 12 hours of tuition, having learned to fly on a special scholarship for disabled people.
Mr Jones said: “It was a bit scary but you don’t have time to think. Because I only weigh 6st I go up like a rocket. But I managed it and my landing was pretty good.
“I could be the smallest person to have gone solo, but I believe there was a kid in China who did it.”
He applied for a flying scholarship to a charitable trust, Flying Scholarships for Disabled People, after his aunt suggested it. Mr Jones, who lives in London, said he has always been interested in flying but could never afford it. And his size and disability have also been barriers.
He said: “I tried gliding but I couldn’t manage it because of the controls and the need to use your feet. I have limited use of my limbs. But the microlight has hand controls and is adapted for disabled use.”
At Old Sarum, Mr Jones was instructed by Raymond Proost, of the Shadow Flight Centre, a trustee of the APT Charitable Trust, set up to allow disabled people to fly. Mr Proost said Mr Jones had been a quick learner.
He said: “It is very unusual for someone to fly solo so early, and because of his size it is not something you would think is possible.”
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