Cambridgeshire 16-year-old Joey Connolly becomes Britain's youngest solo pilot

  • Watch Callum Fairhurst's report for ITV News Anglia

A teenager from Cambridgeshire has become the country's youngest solo pilot.

Joey Connolly, who has not yet completed his GCSES, flew a powered aircraft by himself for the first time on his 16th birthday.

The rules state you can not fly solo in a powered aircraft in the UK until you are 16 years old.

The Wisbech teenager, who has had years of training with Fenland Flying School, flew over the Fens near Spalding in a Cessna 152.

After the flight on Thursday, Joey said: "It felt completely different.

"More exciting than nervous. It just felt good knowing I was flying a plane on my own."

Joey's family were watching on as he soared in the sky.

Braydon Connolly, Joey's dad, said: "It's a mix of emotions.

"I'm not sorry to say it was a relief and I wouldn't have liked to tell his mum if it had gone wrong.

"I've been very nervous running up to this day - more than Joey, so I'm really proud but also really relieved as well." 

Joey was flying a Cessna 152 aeroplane Credit: ITV News Anglia

Joe Connolly, Joey's grandfather, said: "I'm so proud of him. It's just an amazing achievement for a 16-year-old.

"It seems to me it was only just yesterday he took his first walking steps and here he is flying an aeroplane."

It was a big day for everyone at Fenland Airfield as well, with air traffic control making sure they got a clear view of Joey's first solo flight.

The weekend controller, Ray Nicholson, has been with the airfield for 42 years. He described Joey's flying as "excellent".

Joey now has to wait until his 17th birthday before he can get a licence, but said he was looking forward to one day starting a career as an RAF pilot.