TODAY

TODAY   |  September 06, 2013

China’s ‘Eagle Dad’ trains son, 5, to fly

A 5-year-old boy piloted an ultralight aircraft in China, the latest demonstration of his father’s tough parenting style, which also included learning to sail and a failed attempt to climb Mount Fuji together. His father, known as “Eagle Dad,” has defended his practice of giving the child tough challenges.

Share This:

This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> controls of a plane.

>> you're more likely to find a 5-year-old in a sand box , not the cockpit of a fall aircraft flying at almost 1,000 feet above the outskirts of beijing, an attempt to soar into the record books as the world's youngest solo pilot. he has become famous in china for being the boy that's endured a series of extreme challenges drempt up by his ambitious father who calls himself eagle dad. an attempt to climb mt. fuji failed. the pair had to be rescued. last year he filmed his son being forced to do exercise in single digit temperatures which raises the question, pushy parent or child abuse ?

>> you call yourself eagle dad, but a lot of people watching will suggest that you're a cruel dad.

>> a child can only really exercise their body and will power and their heart's conditions. it's up to the parents to decide what kind of person they become. but he has other ideas. daddy i want to play he keeps saying. the top of a climbing frame is about as high as most 5-year-olds get but after making him take to the skies he says he'll push him further. the next challenge, to hike across tibet.

>> that is too much.

>> that's cruel.

>> that's heartbreaking.

>> this is a little boy looking at the jungle gym .