Budding Bolsover pilot Ryan Lee could well have become the youngest flyer in the country when he passed his final skills test 13 days after his 17th birthday.
Ryan, who completed his final practical exam on August 17, is now eligible to fly any single engine piston aircraft.
He had to pass eight written exams, including the price of flight, navigation, radio theory and meteorology, as well as a qualifying cross country solo where he covered Leicester, Peterborough and Coningsby before returning to Worksop - after travelling the skies for two and a half hours.
Ryan took his first flying lesson at 14, started studying at Phoenix Flight School, at Worksop, at the age of 15, and made his first solo flight just after turning 16.
Chief Flying Instructor at Phoenix Flying School, Mike Lee, said: “It’s quite an achievement. Not many people pass so early.”
Even though Ryan is able to fly a plane, he has only just started taking driving lessons, so he is able to navigate an aircraft before he can drive a car.
Chris Lee, Ryan’s father, said: “Ryan has wanted to fly planes ever since he was little. He wanted to go inside the cockpit whenever we used to take him abroad.
“We are very proud of him and he has taken a big step towards achieving his goals.”
Ryan is currently studying for his A Levels at Tupton Hall Sixth Form, and he dreams of becoming a pilot for a large commercial airline in the future.
Ryan said: “I would like to thank everybody at Phoenix for helping me get my licence.”
Whether or not Ryan is the country’s youngest pilot, nobody can deny that he has reached an exceptional feat.