Bid for new youngest pilot around the world

By Natsumi Penberthy 5 July 2016
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Young Aussie Lachlan Smart is attempting to become the youngest person to fly solo around the world.

EIGHTEEN-YEAR-OLD Queenslander Lachlan Smart took off on Monday in an attempt to become the youngest person to fly solo around the world in a single-engine aircraft.

Over the last half-decade this record has ping-ponged across the Pacific, and has been snatched almost as quickly as it’s been made. Not in the least by the AG Society’s 2013 Young Adventurer of the Year Ryan Campbell who held the title that year. The then-19-year-old Ryan beat American Jack Wiegand’s record, which had been set earlier that year. Ryan’s record was then taken by Matt Guthmiller from South Dakota in the USA in 2014. And now, in 2016, there’s a chance Australia will regain the Guinness World Record. 

Lachlan’s trip, which he has dubbed ‘Wings Around the World’, will take roughly 70 days covering almost 45,000km and is being sponsored by the AG Society. He says he’s been plotting and planning the flight for nearly two years, since October 2013.

Lachlan departed from the Sunshine Coast Airport in the early hours of Monday morning, headed for his first stop in Nadi, Fiji. He is due to navigate his way across five continents and 20 countries, all in a seven-and-a-half week period.

“The last few weeks have been a rollercoaster ride of emotions,” Lachlan said before he left. “I have been nervous, excited but moreover focused. I am blocking out the rest and am thinking clearly. I’m prepared.”