The achievement of Caleb Smith is not of the feat of an average 16-year-old. The P.G. County, Maryland native just made history as the youngest Glider pilot in the United States per reports from WUSA-9. It’s a dream come true for the high school student who has had a dream to work in aviation ever since a birthday trip to the airport at the age of 10.
It was after that discovery flight at Bowie Freeway Airport, Smith knew that this would be the lane for him and would even periodically check to see if the vision was still intact by flying periodically with a Certified Flight Instructor (CFI) over the years.
As time flew, Smith’s love for aviation also grew deeper. He went from flying with a CFI to having one-on-one ground instruction and airtime over the course of six years and the determination paid off big time.
Smith, who is currently a 10th grader at Charles H. Flowers High School in Springfield, MD, received a scholarship to attend gliding school in May 2021 and since then he’s gone on to achieve his first solo flight after 33 flights.
Currently, Smith has flown 12 solo flights, passed his written exam with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and obtained his glider license all at the tender age of 16. According to the FAA, his age makes him the youngest private glider pilot in the entire nation.
For Smith, it doesn’t end here. After graduation, he has hopes of attending the U.S. Air Force Military Academy to fulfill his dream of becoming a commercial airline pilot.
His parents are sharing the news about Caleb’s success to encourage other young people to live out their dreams. They truly believe that if one stays connected to their faith, their family, their education, all while maintaining good values, love, and respect for others that the sky is the limit when it comes to achieving those dreams.