The sky’s the limit for one teenager in China, who recently took two stolen seaplanes for a joyride on the tarmac at a small airport.
Though the 13-year-old boy has since been smacked with a $300 fine for the illegal stunt, one airport official thinks that the youngster has potential as an aviator, and should receive flight lessons.
On July 19, the South China Morning Post reported that the adventurous, unnamed 13-year-old was hit with the hefty fine for reportedly taking two small aircraft from the Taihu Lake hangar in the Zhejiang province area for a midnight joyride on June 15 – and damaging one of the planes in the process.
According to the outlet, the Huzhou schoolboy had spent time watching airport workers complete repairs and maintenance on planes at the hangar prior to his trespassing stunt.
Soon after, the lad was reportedly caught on camera arriving at the hangar via electric bike on the fateful Saturday last month.
The teen is said to have hopped into the cockpit of a 990-pound plane before driving it around and hitting a crash barrier while attempting to turn. He was allegedly not injured in the accident. Then, the boy returned the damaged plane to the hangar, before taking out another seaplane for another quick jaunt around the lot, the Morning Post reports. He proceeded to abandon that plane and ride away on his bicycle.
After being apprehended by police, the boy was set to be fined over $1,150 – the cost of damage to the aircraft – but the teen's family was able to negotiate the fine down to less than $300 because they couldn’t afford to pay the full sum, according to USA Today.
Moving forward, certain staff members at the airport are reportedly interested in potentially offering pilot lessons to the boy, having been impressed with his ability to taxi the plane without any formal training.
“We pilots all admired him,” the airport director said of the stunt, as per the Morning Post.