After teen pilot's crash, how young is too young? - News, Weather & Sports

After teen pilot's crash, how young is too young?

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - The deadly crash of a teenager on an around-the-world flight brought new attention to the dangers of record-setting youth adventures where kids fly planes, sail the world and scale mountain peaks.

Pilots, flight instructors and others say that while some question the ability of kids and teens to deal with unforeseen difficulties, training matters more than age.

They say the real danger is when pilots or others may push the boundaries of safety to set records for speed or youth, as Indiana teenager Haris Suleman, a newly licensed pilot, was attempting when his plane went down in the Pacific Ocean on Tuesday.

Saint Louis University aviation science department chair Stephen Belt says that while it's not clear what caused Suleman's plane to crash, generally anyone trying to set a record "is putting a tremendous amount of pressure on themselves to achieve something."

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