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Pilot Sets Sights on Being Youngest to Fly Solo

Toronto-area teenager Michael Domb is looking to become Canada's youngest solo pilot when he turns 14 in June, having been flying since he was 12 years old and rode in airplanes piloted by his uncle. Though somewhat shy when discussing personal matters like taking a future girlfriend flying, he becomes animated and sophisticated when discussing flying, saying things like, "For spins, you climb to a starting altitude, generally above 4,000 feet AGL (above ground level). I usually go to 5,000-5,500 just for a longer duration of the spin. So once you are at altitude, you pull the nose of the plane up, the air speed decreases rapidly a split second before the plane stalls--the aircraft has the aerodynamics of a dishwasher, and falls like a rock." Domb went through ground school at the Toronto Airways at Buttonville Airport and has been doing his training with Humberto Villalobos, a Class 2 flight instructor currently working at Bombardier Aerospace, at Markham Airport, which he says offers "a different kind of flying. ... The runway is really small, but it's really good because the training you get on it is spectacular." Domb, who is a Canadian-born Israeli, is looking at joining the Israeli Air Force in the future: "The legal age to fly solo in Israel is 17, so I'll be the youngest (student pilot) there, too. I love flying."

April 20, 2009

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