A WINCHESTER girl has become the youngest ever solo pilot at a Hampshire flight school.

Elizabeth Ormstom earned her wings last week with Airbourne Aviation Ltd, Coxford Down, at just 16 years old.

Andy Ormstom, Elizabeth’s father, said: “When she was a 12-year-old Elizabeth had a go in a flight simulator and from then on she was hooked.

“She has an auntie who was a pilot as well so I think that got her excited about flying.

“Elizabeth has been very lucky as she has received funding from Nick Wright who owns Engineering Solutions Ltd after getting through the application process, which has really made things easier as it is about £145 an hour to fly and she has not had to pay that fee.”

Elizabeth, who attends Kings School in Romsey Road, said after completing her flight: “I can’t believe I did it. I landed the plane and I did it by myself.”

Matthew Myatt, director of Airbourne Aviation Ltd, said: “I am one of Elizabeth’s instructors and she is one of our star pilots, because she has had quite an intensive training period on top of her GCSEs.

“She has always had this burning passion inside of her to fly and get a licence.

“She has had to learn air law, which can take up to a year, and she passed that very quickly.

“There are five exams in total Elizabeth had to get through, which she has been doing since she was 15, and she breezed through them; nothing is going to stop her.”

Matthew added: “Elizabeth also started flying by herself within 20 hours and the average time it takes to fly solo is 38 hours.

“Now we are seeing more and more girls under the age of 16 come to us saying they want to learn to fly. Traditionally, girls are better pilots than boys because girls do not show off and that is how accidents happen. They can also process data much more accurately than boys.”

The next goal for Elizabeth is to become a commercial pilot, which can cost over £100,000 and take up to two years to complete.