Schoolboy flying high

THE sky's the limit for Plumpton High School captain Adeel Shams.

While some of his schoolmates are unable to drive a car unaccompanied, Adeel, 17, is accredited to fly solo anywhere in NSW.

He's wanted to be a pilot since kindergarten and started flying lessons two years ago at just 14.

"It's hard to describe the feeling of flying," Adeel, now 17, said.

"It's something one can only feel. As a pilot, every single flight is a different experience. A lot of things can go wrong, like the weather turning bad."

He started the general flying progress test in February last year.

He juggled flying lessons with the theory on top of his schoolwork and completed the course within 12 months.

Adeel was also part of his school's team that competed at the F1 Schools technology national titles in Geelong earlier this year.

He's done 85 hours of flying and 10 by himself.

He took his first solo flight in June and since then has flown as far as Wollongong and Lithgow.

He's one of the youngest pilots at Sydney Aviators.

Getting out to Bankstown Airport is a journey in itself for Adeel.

"When I was doing my training course I would leave school to get two buses and two trains which would take 2½ hours to get to Bankstown Airport," he said.

"I was stuck there until 9pm until someone could drive me to the train station.

"It gets tiring but my determination and enthusiasm propelled me through. I never lost the passion to keep my dream alive."

He hopes to start applying for airline cadetships when he finishes his HSC next year.

"My ultimate goal is to become a commercial airline pilot," he said.

He hopes his story will inspire other teenagers to realise that no dream is impossible.

"Do your research and when you're ready, go for it," he said.

"Look at your long-term goal and if you see yourself in that position, keep going and think positively."

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