Genius or reckless? Chinese boy, 13, attempts to pilot 2 planes by himself

When staff arrived at an airplane hangar in Zhejiang, China, on July 15, they were greeted with a strange sight -- two seaplanes haphazardly parked outside, with one of them crashed against the guardrail.

They found the answer when reviewing CCTV footage of the area. The video revealed that a boy had trespassed the aircraft hangar and attempted to operate two seaplanes in the early morning.

The 13-year-old boy’s initial attempt to operate an aircraft was unsuccessful, he crashed it into the guardrail moments after hopping into the pilot's seat.

His second attempt, however, proved much more fruitful as he managed to circle another plane around the compound three times. 

Fortunately for the boy, he escaped unscathed from his little adventure at the hangar.

For his midnight joyride, his parents had to pay 2,000 yuan (S$395.80) for plane damages. Due to the family’s financial constraints, they paid only a portion of the total repair costs of 8,000 yuan.

After viewing the video clip, Chinese netizens’ opinions on the boy were divided.

Some Weibo users heaped praises on him. They called the boy a genius since he picked up how to operate such a complicated vehicle by merely observing the mechanics' actions the day before the incident.

Even the director of the facility expressed shock at the boy’s capability, saying: “It is unbelievable that by observing [them], the boy learned how to pilot the aircraft”.

Others were not so kind with their words, stating that the punishment for the boy should have been more severe. They suggested that he should work for free for the hangar as compensation for his thoughtless actions.

Regardless of their attitude towards him, Weibo users all agreed that if the boy's talent is nurtured, he may just become a top-notch pilot in the future.

wongxuemin@asiaone.com