Bradley
Susan Montoya Bryan  /  AP
Bobby Bradley became the youngest trained pilot to fly solo in a hot air balloon early Saturday morning in Tome, N.M.
updated 6/4/2011 9:45:36 AM ET 2011-06-04T13:45:36

A 9-year-old boy has lifted off from a desolate patch of central New Mexico and floated into history.

Bobby Bradley became the youngest trained pilot to fly solo in a hot air balloon early Saturday morning in Tome. He took off in the company of three other balloons, whose pilots included a designated balloon examiner for the Federal Aviation Administration. A crowd of about 50 supporters, including family, friends and classmates, cheered as they took off.

Bobby's balloon landed about 25 minutes later.

The son of two of Albuquerque's well-known balloonists had been practicing takeoffs and landings for the past few days while his ultra-light balloon built was tethered to the ground.

Bobby can't get his pilot's license until he's 16, so his family and friends built the smaller balloon that is classified as an ultra-light aircraft to enable his flight.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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