Robbie Rizk is a record-breaker and, according to the operations manager of Buckminster Gliding Club: “Could be Red Arrows material.”
Stuart Black was speaking after 14-year-old Robbie, along with Buckminster Gliding Club colleagues Chris Bowden (19) and Jack Newman (23) were selected for the British team to compete in the FAI World Advanced Glider Aerobatic Championships at Oripaa, Finland at the end of July.
Based at Saltby Airfield, the local club has become widely recognised as a centre of excellent for glider aerobatics and hosts the UK National Contest.
Towards the end of last year, new rules were introduced to lower the age at which pilots can fly solo to 14. Rizk, whose father, George is a club member. was one member considered for this and he became the youngest person in the world to take part in an aerobatics competition when he was 13, meaning he had to fly with a safety pilot.
This year, his standard of flying has been judged ready for internatioanl exposure in what will surely be the youngest team at the world championships.
Black said: “The three of them will be flying high performance gliders which are capable of undertaking breathtaking manoeuvres at speeds of up to 175 mpg and pulling as much as nine G.
“Robbie is remarkable because of his maturity at that age - at 18 he will be truly outstanding if he carries on like this and could be Red Arrows material. He shows a great attitude, he has great skill, concentration and maturity.”
Before the Finland trip, the trio will compete in the UK championships this weekend at Buckminster.