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Sweet Sixteen: Johnson Co. teen earns driving and flying permit on birthday

MARTIN COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT) - For many, turning 16 means jumping into the driver's seat...but for one Johnson County girl it also meant the cockpit.

Like most teenagers on their 16th birthday, Lakin Price, a sophmore at Paintsville High School took a driving test. However, she also did something not many can say they've done....she took a solo flying test at Big Sandy Regional Airport.

Price says she's been flying with her dad since before she could walk and that is what inspired her to pursue her own pilot's license.

"I've always dreamed of being a private pilot like my dad, so I wanted to fulfill that dream...for both of us," says Price.

So at age 13 she began taking lessons from, Larry Short, who has taught more than 100 Eastern Kentuckians how to fly.

Short says, "I love working with younger people, they are so much easier to teach than older people....no doubt about that."

Short said he had some reservations about doing the test on Monday because of strong winds.

"She had the confidence and didn't show me any problems so I said well go ahead," says Short.

With a close eye on the gusts of wind, Price took to the pilot's seat...and as her family proudly watched she successfully completed three solo take offs and landings.

Short says, "She's as good as any I've had...she's really good."

Earning both a driving and flying permits in one day.

"It was hard....but I did it," says Price.

Making for a pretty sweet sixteen, as she continues to soar towards her dream of one day being a pilot.

Price plans to take tests to get both her driver's and pilot's licenses in a year, on her 17th birthday.


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