A teenage girl has become the youngest person in the UK to fly a plane solo - on the day of her 16th birthday.

Catherine Skipworth first flew in a light aircraft when she was just 12 and had her first lesson at 15 - being taught by the same person who instructed her father, Steve.

Then, on the day of her 16th birthday she flew the Piper Warrior PA28-161 on her own for around seven minutes around the White Waltham Airfield in Maidenhead.

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She became the youngest person in the UK to complete a solo flight - beating the previous record holder, Ellie Carter, who flew three days after her 16th birthday.

Catherine, from Newbury, was greeted back to safety by her mum, Tina, who said that the youngster will now be continuing flying lessons.

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Tina said: "It was all a bit touch-and-go whether she would be able to fly on her birthday, as you have to have the right weather.

"We were checking the weather all week and the forecast was horrendous, but at 9.30am it cleared and off she went.

"I don't really like flying so it was terrifying for me to watch, but she loved it and she will carry on with her lessons now."

"She started lessons in the summer, but at least 50 per cent were cancelled because of bad weather and then one of her instructors had to self-isolate.

"The school have been great and have let her out at weekends and let her have the day off on her birthday so she could try to get the record.

"She had another lesson the week after her birthday and she went solo again.

"She would now like to get her Private Pilot's Licence (PPL), but the earliest she can do that is her 17th birthday."

The daring young aviator, who also enjoys aerobatics trips with her father, had to study air law and pass the flying school's written tests before being allowed to take to the skies on her own.

She is now hoping to get some flying hours under her belt during the Easter and summer holidays next year, in preparation for her PPL as soon as she turns 17.