Teen, 18, becomes UK’s youngest commercial pilot after mum sells home to fund dream

Teen, 18, becomes UK's youngest commercial pilot after mum sells home to fund dream
Seth Van Beek, 18, is looking for a job after passing with flying colours (Picture: Seth Van Beek / SWNS)

An 18-year-old has become the UK’s youngest qualified commercial pilot after his mum sold the family home to fund his dream.

Seth Van Beek received his licence to fly passenger airlines after completing an intensive £85,000 flight school course in Greece.

After 18 months of training and 150 hours in the air, he passed with flying colours – and owes it all to his mum Frances, 42, who downsized her three-bedroom Milton Keynes home for a flat to pay for his course.

The teenager, who was top of his class, says he wanted to succeed to make his mum proud.

He said: ‘People have to chase their dreams, and I’ve been so lucky, being able to make my dream my career because of my mum.

‘None of this would have been possible without her – I love her to pieces!’

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Finance manager Frances, originally from Zimbabwe, said: ‘When I start to think about everything, I get so overwhelmed.

Seth Van Beek (right) who has become the UK's youngest qualified commercial pilot aged just 18. He is pictured here with colleague Paris Antoino in a flight simulator at the Egnatia Aviation Training college. See SWNS story SWYpilot. A British teenager has become the UK's youngest qualified commercial pilot - after his mum sold the family home to help fund his dreams. Seth Van Beek, 18, got his licence to fly passenger airliners in October after he completed nearly 18 months of training in southern Greece. He had to move to Greece for the ?85,000 flight school course, and completed 150 hours in the air before he passed with flying colours. Seth from Preston, London, is now the UK's youngest licensed commercial aviator, a record previously held by Luke Elsworth, who passed when he was 19.
The teenager did 18 months of training and spent 150 hours in the air (Picture: Seth Van Beek / SWNS)
Seth Van Beek who has become the UK's youngest qualified commercial pilot aged just 18 pictuerd with mum Frances. See SWNS story SWYpilot. A British teenager has become the UK's youngest qualified commercial pilot - after his mum sold the family home to help fund his dreams. Seth Van Beek, 18, got his licence to fly passenger airliners in October after he completed nearly 18 months of training in southern Greece. He had to move to Greece for the ?85,000 flight school course, and completed 150 hours in the air before he passed with flying colours. Seth from Preston, London, is now the UK's youngest licensed commercial aviator, a record previously held by Luke Elsworth, who passed when he was 19.
His mum Frances sold her home in Milton Keynes to pay for his £85,000 dream (Picture: Seth Van Beek / SWNS)

‘I didn’t have a proper education, so I have always pushed Seth to make sure that he accomplishes what he really wants.

‘For years I have told him that as long as he has faith and believes in himself, he will be able to achieve anything he sets his mind to.

‘To think he’s the youngest licensed commercial pilot in the UK – it blows me away.’

The teenager began dreaming of becoming a pilot when he was eight years old after being taken ‘on holidays to see the world’ by his mum.

He began attending prestigious Mediterranean flight academy Egnatia Aviation Training College when he was 17.

One of 14 students, Seth – who opted to learn in Greece so he could break the world record – practiced practical flying at Kavala International Airport every three months, taking to the skies five-times-a-week during these periods.

The hard worker spent 828 hours studying learning theory and averaged an exam score of 90.6%.

Seth Van Beek who has become the UK's youngest qualified commercial pilot aged just 18. He is seen here at Egnatia Aviation college with trainer Captain Beizis. See SWNS story SWYpilot. A British teenager has become the UK's youngest qualified commercial pilot - after his mum sold the family home to help fund his dreams. Seth Van Beek, 18, got his licence to fly passenger airliners in October after he completed nearly 18 months of training in southern Greece. He had to move to Greece for the ?85,000 flight school course, and completed 150 hours in the air before he passed with flying colours. Seth from Preston, London, is now the UK's youngest licensed commercial aviator, a record previously held by Luke Elsworth, who passed when he was 19.
Seth was the top of his class (Picture: Seth Van Beek / SWNS)
Seth Van Beek (centre) who has become the UK's youngest qualified commercial pilot aged just 18. He is pictured here with his mum Frances Van Beek and sister Hannah Van Beek. See SWNS story SWYpilot. A British teenager has become the UK's youngest qualified commercial pilot - after his mum sold the family home to help fund his dreams. Seth Van Beek, 18, got his licence to fly passenger airliners in October after he completed nearly 18 months of training in southern Greece. He had to move to Greece for the ?85,000 flight school course, and completed 150 hours in the air before he passed with flying colours. Seth from Preston, London, is now the UK's youngest licensed commercial aviator, a record previously held by Luke Elsworth, who passed when he was 19.
He has made his mum and sister Hannah, 14, proud (Picture: Seth Van Beek / SWNS)

He graduated in September at the top of his class and received his licence from the European Aviation Safety Agency a month later at age 18, beating a record previously held by Luke Elsworth who passed aged 19.

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Seth, who is now on the hunt for a job, says he ‘loves everything about flying’ and hopes to work for British Airways one day.

He said: ‘Flying has always been my dream. There was nothing else that I had ever wanted to do, and there is nothing I would contemplate doing.

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‘You don’t have a single epiphany where you realise that you want to be something or do something, it comes from experience.’

Egnatia Aviation Training College has revealed that of their 1,500 students to graduate since 2006, Seth was the youngest, with their closest qualifying pilots three years his senior.

A letter of recommendation from instructor Captain Dionysios Kouri said: ‘Exemplary student would be the characterization that best describes Seth Van Beek.

‘His pre-entry assessment results led us to believe that Seth not only had great potentials but allowed us to have high expectations from him, too. And he certainly proved us right!’

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