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  1. ITV Report

Too young to drive a car but old enough to fly planes - meet the UK's youngest pilot

  • Video report by ITV News Correspondent Rupert Evelyn

She may be too young to drive a car, but Ellie Carter is old enough to fly a plane.

The Devon-based 16-year-old is still awaiting her GCSE results, but she is Britain's youngest solo pilot of a powered aircraft.

It's the culmination of a lifelong dream for Ellie, who can remember wanting to take to the skies since she was nine-years-old.

She said: "I love it. The whole experience is so unique and it's amazing.

"Definitely some of the challenging things like landing in a cross wind makes it a bit more interesting. Keeps you on your toes."

Although the number are growing, female pilots are still a minority amid a predominately male background.

In India around 12% of commercial pilots are women, in the UK that figure is only 5%.

Ellie said she wanted to take to the skies from the age of nine. Credit: ITV News

Ellie has had more than her fair share of disparaging comments, ranging from the typical comments around women flying to her wearing make-up.

But her mentor doesn't see why she shouldn't be able to soar to her dream.

EasyJet pilot Zoe Ebrey told ITV News: "Challenging those stereotypes that most people hold about being an airline pilot, it really demonstrates that no matter what your gender you still can be an airline pilot."

Ellie is unclear where she would like to go with her career, but she knows it involves planes of some kind.

For now, her sights are set on gaining her private pilot's licence the day she turns 17.

Then maybe she'll set her sights on driving a car.