Youngest solo pilot to fly five different aircrafts-Evan
Graham sets world record
PASO ROBLES, Calif., USA -- Evan Graham
celebrated his 16th birthday (on August 6) by soloing five
different aircrafts: a vintage WWII L-4 Piper Cub taildrager,
a R-22 Robinson helicopter, a Cessna 150 Aerobat, a Robinson
44 Raven II and a 1965 Cessna 150-150 , setting the world record for the Youngest
solo pilot to fly five different aircrafts.
Of his flight in the piper cub, Evan commented
“The L-4 was my favorite, with my instructor out, the upgraded
85 horsepower engine, and myself weighing only 125 pounds,
the little cub felt like it had turned into a full grown grizzly
Being a vintage WWII war bird, the L-4
has no radio in it, so for once I was truly on my own, & it
was a relief to be able to fly without the constant noise
of instructors and family members giving me opposite directions.”
Contesting with family members in the
cockpit has always been a prerogative of flight for Evan.
Evan’s father an airplane pilot and high time professional
Lucila Arango, Evan’s mother also did her solo
flight at age 16 and is a commercial, instrument rated pilot
is both airplanes and helicopters.
Evan’s older brother, last summer did his
solo the R-44 helicopter, also at the age of 16. As if having
an older brother flying, a pilot mother and father was not
enough, Evan is a third generation pilot and has been mentored
in aviation, aerobatic, and vintage aircrafts by his maternal
“Evan has been flying since he was
in the womb. He has been waiting a long time for his 16th
birthday to comply with the FAA regulations for solo.”
By the time of his world record flight
came around, Evan had logged more than 150 hours of flight
time. Most of the flight time had been on booster seats and
not being able to see out of the cockpit.
When finally the day came when there were
no instructors of parents in the cockpit Evan said of the
experience “I expected it to be exciting. What I was not expecting
were the overwhelming feelings of freedom and solitude that
come only from soaring the skies alone.”
Each aircraft had a particular significance
The L-4 is a Warbird, which was used as reconnaissance
aircraft in Northern Africa in 1941.
The Robinson 22 is his father’s helicopter,
the Cessna 150 aerobat was the same airplane his mother and
father soloed in, the Robinson 44 is the helicopter his brother
soloed, the 1965 Cessna is the airplane both of his maternal
uncles did their solo in.
Evan was aware of the family history he was making
that day but was only told about the world record after he
had done all his solos.
Smith also soloed, on his 16th birthday one airplane
and two helicopters. Evan added the taildragger component
to the record, with the flight in the L-4 Cub. Taildraggers
require a special sign off even for licensed pilots.