Teen soars to milestone in first solo flight around Oz

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Adam PoulsenMidwest Times
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Solomon Cameron takes a break in Kalbarri last Friday during his solo flight around Australia.
Camera IconSolomon Cameron takes a break in Kalbarri last Friday during his solo flight around Australia. Credit: Angela Ayers

Solomon Cameron, who is too young to hold a driver’s licence, celebrated his 15th birthday by completing his first solo flight in a light aircraft.

The ambitious teenager from Victoria did not stop there.

Last Friday, he touched down in Kalbarri, one of many stops on his first solo flight around Australia.

Solomon, pictured, is hoping the journey will raise $40,000 for Angel Flight, a charity that helps regional Australians access specialist medical treatment.

Despite his age, the teenager has clocked countless hours of airtime since taking his first flying lesson aged 12.

“I was riding my bike out to the airport every weekend to watch all the aeroplanes,” he said.

“I saved up a bit of money by oiling decks and mowing lawns and stuff.

“When I finally had enough for my first flight, I went up and just absolutely loved it.

“When I was 14, I’d saved up enough money to start doing flying lessons regularly; that’s really when my training to become a pilot started.”

When he was legally allowed to take his first solo flight, Solomon was feeling confident enough.

“Bright and early in the morning, around 6.30, I went up with my instructor,” he said.

“When we landed, she said ‘alright, you can head off,’ and I did a circuit all by myself. It was a very awesome moment.”

His ride of choice is the Jabiru J230: a two-seater high-wing aircraft that reaches speeds of about 220km/h.

The 15,000km, 30-day journey began earlier this month in Bendigo, Victoria, and has seen Solomon travel about 1000km a day.

From Kalbarri, he made a short pit stop in Geraldton to refuel on Saturday, before making his way to Bunbury.

Solomon said his parents had been supportive since day one and helped him “turn fantasy into reality”.

Standing at 195cm already, he said he hoped to join the air force some day if he did not exceed the strict height restrictions.

“But I think I’d pretty happy flying a smaller aircraft up north and then eventually moving onto the bigger ones with Qantas,” he said.

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