Teen takes first solo flight in an airplane she built

Where is the next generation of pilots coming from? Sometimes, they come from the garage; they’re the little kids building airplanes with a grown-up.

This area of the country — along with Texas and the Pacific Northwest — is one of the centers of the homebuilt-airplane universe.

The Eau Claire Leader-Telegram features one example. A little kid who helped her father build an airplane years ago, then helped him build another.

This time, Danielle Olson, of Elk Mound, Wis., was a little older when the airplane was finally finished. And she was close to turning 16, the minimum age at which a person can fly an airplane by herself.

Which is what she did on her birthday, the paper says.

“I’ve flown in other planes, and it’s just another plane. But this one, I built,” Danielle tells the Leader-Telegram. “I riveted those rivets. It’s cool that I made a plane, and I’m flying it by myself.”