To fly the plane, he had to use a booster seat and blocks attached to the rudder pedals so his short legs could reach them. But when a pilot is 7 years old, what do you expect?
With his flight instructor at his side, Daniel Shanklin landed a Cessna 172 on Monday at First Flight Airstrip on North Carolina's Outer Banks. His family claims his nine-day cross-country flight made him the youngest person to fly across the United States. He turned 8 on Tuesday.
"That was the worst landing I've ever had and I wanted it to be the best," said Daniel, of San Antonio, Texas, after the plane bounced twice when landing.
He took off from San Diego on May 26, stopping in several cities along the way.
The Guinness Book of World Records doesn't keep flight records by age. Two 9-year-olds completed separate flights in 1988 and 1989 before the National Aeronautics Association stopped keeping age-related flight records.