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10-year-old pilot takes to the skies

August 22, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
Charlie Goldfarb isn't your typical 10-year-old. He's spending his summer vacation learning to pilot a Piper Archer.What he lacks in age, he makes up for in wisdom and passion.

"So much to cover and it's so interesting. And really, it's one of my pastimes," says Charlie.

Charlie is five feet tall, and in order to fly, he has his seat all the way up to reach the pedals. To see over the dashboard and instrument panel, he sits on a pillow.

Charlie sounds like an old pro on the radio, but he has only been flying for about six weeks. In that time, he has logged 24 hours in the air. Only 40 hours are needed to get a pilot's license.

Charlie won't be able to fly solo until he is 16 years old, and he'll have to wait until he is 17 to actually get the license.

Charlie's instructor says Charlie is far above the rest already.

"Very few people are good on radios. They get intimidated. He's just like ... it's natural, he's a natural," says Charlie's flight instructor.

For Charlie, learning to fly is the most amazing experience he's had so far in life.

"When you're landing is the most difficult bit. That was the hardest to learn. That took me two weeks alone to learn," says Charlie. "You have to concentrate. And if you don't concentrate enough, something bad could happen. So, you have to concentrate. But, it's extremely fun."

Charlie lives in Switzerland with his mom, and spends the summer with his dad in Studio City. His quest for adventure has given him a unique view of the San Fernando Valley this year, and put his future clearly in his sights.

 

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