10-Year-Old Maddox Jolie-Pitt Is Taking Flying Lessons -- WHAT?!

airplaneGeez. Is Brad Pitt making a play for parent of the year, or what? First he admits to force-feeding his kids Coca-Cola in the morning to get them out of bed and moving. And now? He has disclosed that he and Angelina Jolie are letting their 10-year-old son, Maddox, take flying lessons.

Flying lessons? At age 10?!


Before we get too panicked, at least we can take comfort in the fact that, because the FAA's minimum age to get a student pilot's license is 16 and a private pilot's license is 17, Maddox can't yet fly a plane solo. But still, even with a backup, would you really allow your kid to fly an airplane when he or she is still in (or even barely out of) elementary school?

At 10, it seems to me, kids are still developing their manual dexterity, impulse control, and understanding that actions have consequences and that sometimes those consequences are final. (Yank the controls, crash the plane, and that's it, folks.) Couldn't they just have gotten little Maddox a video game that simulates flying, or take him to a flight simulator, or give him some flight-like experience where a mistake or a sudden move is not potentially deadly? Does he really need to be at the wheel (or whatever it is) up in the air?

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I suppose it's possible that little Maddox has not been allowed to actually take the controls while in flight -- and that by "piloting lessons," Pitt just means something safe and on the ground. But given the fact that his mother got her own pilot's license (in 2005) in order to fulfill a promise to Maddox, and that she has spoken very favorably about the feeling of flying, it seems like the Jolie-Pitts take being airborne very seriously.

Look, I don't mean to judge -- to each his own and all, and I'm sure the Jolie-Pitts are certain that they're doing the best for their airplane-loving little boy -- but me, even if I had the means to give my 10-year-old kid flying lessons and he was begging for them, I would say, "No. Not yet. Wait until you're a little older." It just seems too risky.

What about you? Would you let your kid take flying lessons at age 10?


Image via hisperati/Flickr

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