|A photo of Duoduo. (Source: Tianjin TV)|
A 5-year-old boy from East China's Jiangsu Province piloted a light aircraft by himself over the Beijing Wildlife Park on Saturday evening, prompting debates over the boy's father's style of parenting.
At around 6:08 pm, the boy, named Duoduo, took off from an airfield, and flew to the Beijing Wildlife Park in Daxing district and returned. The whole flight took just 35 minutes, according to Duoduo's father, He Liesheng.
The total distance that Duoduo flew is 30 kilometers, according to Zhang Yonghui, the person in charge of an aviation club where Duoduo learned to fly an aircraft.
He Liesheng told the Global Times that he wants his son to become braver by flying a plane and develop his curiosity and desire to explore.
He was previously dubbed "eagle dad" for his strict parenting methods. In 2012, He made Duoduo run outside in the snow in New York wearing only his underwear. The temperature was 13 C below zero at the time.
"He's education style is worth learning, but not every child is suitable for it," Gu Li, the director of a learning research center in Nanjing told the Chongqing Morning Post.
Sun Yunxiao, deputy director of the China Youth and Children Research Center, disapproves of He's education ideas. Sun noted that if the boy had encountered problems it could have impacted his entire life.
"We should not force children to do what they are not able to do. Children can benefit more from playing with toys or mud than flying a plane," Sun told the Global Times Monday.
Zhang Qihuai, a lawyer who specializes in aviation, told the Global Times that there were legal implications to the case.
"Anyone who drives aviation devices must have a pilot license and permission from the aviation administration. An aircraft controlled by a 5-year-old boy may threaten public safety," he said.