A week of firsts

It’s been a week since Wings Around the World was officially launched and to put it quite simply, the response to what Lachlan Smart is hoping to achieve has been outstanding.

From coverage in the local Sunshine Coast area to national media attention, it was a busy two days for Lachlan, and perhaps for the first time in his life he was recognised in the Alexandra Headland Surf Life Saving Club.

That wasn’t the only first for Lachlan, his first media engagement came courtesy of the Sunshine Coast Daily, his first on-camera appearance with both Seven News Local Sunshine Coast and WIN News Sunshine Coast, before his first LIVE, in-studio radio interview with the Hot91FM breakfast team and of course his first LIVE TV interview with Sunrise.

Of course with so much happening, there were plenty of people who helped make it all happen, in particular was Aero Dynamic Flight Academy who have helped Lachie with all his flight training so far, and who provided use of their flight school as a quasi media centre for two days.

With so much going on, we’ve compiled some of the highlights from the week and listed them below. So just in case you missed it, take a look back on the week that was.


Ten Eyewitness News: http://ow.ly/Q6IM1

WIN News Sunshine Coasthttp://ow.ly/Qd9PF

Seven News Local Sunshine Coast: http://ow.ly/Qd9Uq


The glamour of TV? It was great to be on Sunrise, and see what it's actually like behind the scenes!
The glamour of TV? It was great to be on Sunrise, and see what it’s actually like behind the scenes!

Sunshine Coast Daily: http://ow.ly/Q6J6K


2GB Sydney: http://ow.ly/Q6Ij6


Brisbane Times: http://ow.ly/Q6I5U

Daily Mail UK: http://ow.ly/Q6I8L

Sunshine Coast Daily: http://ow.ly/Q6I9I

ABC Sunshine Coast: http://ow.ly/Q6IbQ

7News/Yahoo7: http://ow.ly/Q6IdV

The West Australian: http://ow.ly/Q6Ifm

The Age: http://ow.ly/Q6Ixj

Thomson Geer supports young pilot’s world record attempt

With a strong media launch this week, we had one of our foundation supporters – Thomson Geer Lawyers – put together a quick blog!
Enjoy the read below, and thanks to the team at TGLaw for the support so far!

Ben Coogan

Thomson Geer supports young pilot’s world record attempt to circumnavigate the globe solo

 – by Ben Coogan

This is an exciting blog for us as we are pleased to announce our support of Lachlan Smart who will attempt to become the youngest person in history to circumnavigate the globe solo, in a single engine aircraft in June 2016.


The attempt will take around 70 days covering around a massive 45,000 kilometres.

Lachlan Smart’s “Wings around the World” project was launched this week to the public.  Wings around the World was created by 17 year old Lachlan Smart in order to “send a message to the people of Australia, particularly youth, showing that dreams can be achieved no matter how big or how small“.

It is fair to say that the public and media are historically fascinated with, and draw an inspiration from, youth who have these extraordinary visions and can achieve huge success at an early age.  One only needs to recall the success of Jesse Martin and then Jessica Watson (youngest unassisted sailors to circumnavigate the globe) and also Ryan Campbell (Australian former world record holder for the youngest person to circumnavigate the globe by aircraft).

Lachie’s Wings around the World needs more partners and sponsors in order to achieve the level of funding to complete his vision and achieve success.  While we are happy to support Lachie, he needs more help.

If you are happy to help and can support Lachie’s dream then check out www.wingsaroundtheworld.com.au and see how you may be able to support him.

Subscribe to Lachie’s social media feeds on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube.

For news reports see here.

WATW launches bid for world record

Sunshine Coast teenager Lachlan Smart has officially thrown his hat in the ring to challenge for the title of the youngest pilot in history to circumnavigate the globe solo, in a single engine aircraft in a media call at the Sunshine Coast Airport.

Wings Around the World is a challenge that has been born from the ideology that high goals can be achieved through adversity and by people of all age, size and circumstance, no matter how big the challenge may be.

Speaking with national and regional media, Smart said that his world record bid was as much about taking on a challenge of significant scale, as it was about inspiring others to seize the opportunities presented to them.

“I’ve always had a dream that I want to do something big, I’ve had a message to share for a long time and also a passion for aviation,” Smart said.

“Young people too often say ‘when I’m older’ or ‘one day I want to’, but there’s no reason why they can’t now. It’s often just the will to achieve the motivation and support that are missing.”

Departing mid 2016, it will take Smart approximately 10 weeks to complete his journey and he will touch down in 20 countries, cross five continents and cover 24,000 nautical miles between his departure from and arrival back in Australia.

From Jessica Watson to fellow aviator Ryan Campbell, Wings Around the World will join a league of mind blowing world record attempts that have captured the imagination of the media, and then the public, here and around the world.

World record attempts are not meant to be easy and this one in particular is one that would challenge any pilot, least not a soon to be 18-year-old teenager who will be taking on this challenge alone.

For more information on the record itself, check out a brief history of the record HERE.

You can also stay up to date with Lachie’s progress on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

If you wish to find out more about how you can throw your support behind Lachie, GET INVOLVED HERE.

How it all began

I can always remember that from a young age I was intrigued by stories of adventurers trekking around the globe and undertaking challenges others wouldn’t even dream of, even under the hardest of circumstances. There is nothing like a story of someone who embraced the spirit of adventure; stories that have inspired me to set my own heart on a world challenge.

With the knowledge of those that have gone before me and the stories of the great adventurers I remember from my childhood, I knew I wanted to undertake something big.

My answer came not long after when I was watching TV one evening and the story of then 19-year-old Australian Ryan Campbell came on ’60 Minutes’ who had just completed a solo world flight. I was inspired. As I watched the segment my heart became set on this challenge (much to my mother’s dismay!). I can now proudly say that Ryan is a mentor to me, and someone who is guiding my own journey.

“How hard can it be?” My initial thoughts had been that all I would need to do is plan a route, ask a few pilots some questions and ask a few sponsors for money (who could refuse?), jump in the plane and go.

I won’t say famous last words, but I soon discovered that it wasn’t that easy when I had a chat with Ryan. I had found Ryan’s contact via his manager from his own flight, David Lyall, who owns and runs media/PR/management agency Sports Communication Australia who look after a multitude of clients, including Australian Red Bull Air Race pilot Matt Hall and now, me.

The more people I spoke with, the bigger the picture grew, the more pieces of the puzzle emerged. It would have been easy to become overwhelmed by everything that lay in front of me and hit the eject button. However I was fortunate that with every challenge that emerged so did the structural support around me, be it individuals or companies that are helping me pull off this challenge.

Since making my decision, one of the things I often get asked is why I want to undertake such an extreme adventure? why fly around the world in a single engined aircraft alone? My answer: To share an ideology that is very close to my heart; that high goals can be achieved through adversity, while still undertaking the dream of flying.

There are so many aspects I need to consider, but I know that if I put my head down and believe in myself then anything is possible. As NASA state: “Excellence is achieved by those who believed,” a statement I intend to prove true.

– Lachie


Inspired by youth throughout history

Time and time again throughout history the youth of the day have been responsible for some of the greatest achievements on record. Think Joan of Arc leading the French to victory over the English at the age of 17, Louis Braille inventing the Braille system when he was 15 and more recently the likes of Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg who created technology empires at the age of 19.

I can safely say that some of these stories are responsible for my own journey, and without doubt the feats of many others.

The beginning of my desire to undertake on something that was challenging, adventures and hopefully inspiring to others began when Jessica Watson returned from her round the world sailing journey.

Jessica sailed around the globe at the age of 16 and inspired many including me to chase what might otherwise seem impossible. Like me, Jess also hails from the Sunshine Coast and to me I felt a connection with her story, another local, and it made everything she did that little more real. I remember the day she sailed back into Mooloolaba Marina, I knew that a journey of a similar proportion was possible.

The idea of flying around the world, rather than sailing, came to me in 2013, although it wasn’t some great epiphany or anything like that. It was literally thrust in front of me when 60 Minutes ran a story called ‘Flyin’ Ryan’, complete with an image of a young man and his Cirrus Sr-22.

It was fellow Australian Ryan Campbell who took the world record of youngest pilot to circumnavigate the globe solo, in a single engine aircraft that same year, and it was then that I found what I was looking for.

The amount of effort and preparation it would take to organise a similar challenge at that point hadn’t occurred to me.  All I saw was a challenge, a monumental challenge, but I had time on my side, I was young enough to break Ryan’s record, and his achievement alongside the chance to go one better, was the inspiration that kick started this dream.

– Lachie

Earning my keys to the sky, the PPL test

It took six tests (five theory and one practical), a lot of hard work and many nervous moments for me to obtain my Private Pilot’s License  (PPL), and the keys to take myself and my friends and family flying!

My first flying lesson was out at Caboolture Aerodrome in a CT-LS, a small two seater recreational aircraft (read about it here!), and after a few lessons I was set on becoming a pilot. However to do so I decided to do my pilot’s training with Aero Dynamic Flight Academy at Maroochydore airport, as it’s close to home and is a controlled airspace (which means there is an air traffic controller directing the traffic).

Flying a stock standard Cessna 172, flight training began with basic manoeuvre, followed by some more advanced manoeuvres such as stalls (putting the aircraft into a configuration where it no longer produces enough lift to fly) and recoveries. I then moved on to flying circuits, finally getting to actually land the plane myself instead of the instructor, stuff was getting serious.

Once the basics were covered off I then got to move on to my navigation training, the stuff I was most excited for – it meant getting out of the Sunshine Coast area and hitting the open skies.

My first navigation flight was to be from Sunshine Coast to Tairo, then Wondai and back to the Sunshine Coast. It all began with the planning, and there was so much to think about! With my instructor we planned around the winds, distances, headings, tracks and ground speeds, which were all so confusing, and then there were airspace restrictions and radio calls to think about. As with all things practice makes perfect, and I eventually became more comfortable with navigation planning and flights to the point where I was able to take my first solo navigation flight!

I got ready and planned it to death until I was just waiting on the aircraft to return back from the last student, then the news arrived…the previous student walked in stating there was no pressure in the left brake pedal. Sure enough, the left brake had leaked it’s hydraulic fluid out. After waiting up in Hervey Bay for half an hour the aircraft was fixed I eventually got leave on my solo nav, now a whole lot more nervous as the wait just got me thinking about all that could go wrong. Despite my concerns the flight went relatively smoothly and I returned home happily after a beautiful flight.

Following one more solo nav I began my lead up to my PPL practical exam. The PPL would allow me to fly as ‘Pilot in Command’ of an aircraft and to take passengers with me.

My flight test was to fly from Sunshine Coast to Nanango, over to Toowoomba, down to Archerfield (Brisbane) and then back up to the Sunshine Coast and encompassed everything from a small grass airstrip on a slope, to military airspace, to controlled airspace with big jets. After getting home I was thrilled to hear that I passed and couldn’t have been more excited!

Of course there were also the multiple theory exams. The first was a flight theory test before my first solo, to ensure I had the basics of flying circuits and also a radio communications test. Another was making sure I knew the procedures. After that was the Basic Aeronautical Knowledge  (BAK) test and then my nav training and finally, the PPL test itself, making sure I knew everything the private pilot needs to know.

Next stop, Wings Around the World

– Lachie

I loved aviation from the first chip

It all started with a bucket of hot chips and sitting at the local airport with my mother at the age of two just watching the planes take off and land. I vividly remember those afternoons at the airfield as being the spark that lit the fire of my passion for aviation.

Aviation has run through the veins of my family for generations, beginning with my great, great, great uncle who flew in the battle that took down the infamous red baron. As flight technology advanced so did the the level at which wars were fought and soon a further four members of my family flew for the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) and Royal Air Force (RAF), but there has since been a lengthy gap between then and now.

The aviation bug well and truly bit me on my 14th birthday when dad bought me my first ever flying lesson. Since the days with my mum I had been dreaming of being able to fly, and finally I lived that dream, just a little bit. I even got a turn on the controls.

As soon as we landed I insisted that I would absolutely need to go flying again, or I could quite possibly die (ok, not quite but it felt like it!). A few months later I went flying again and the passion was still there, it was just as exhilarating! The time periods between flights eventually got shorter and shorter, until they were almost a weekly ritual, but the feeling never got old.

By age 16 I had flown solo for the first time. It had just been a normal, repetitive day of circuits (take off, fly a circuit of the airfield, land), until on my second last loop around the airfield my instructor jumped on the radio to say he was going to jump out and ‘send his student for his first solo’. I could have jumped out of the plane and flown without it I was so excited, I was going for my first solo!

We landed soon after and I dropped my instructor off and then hurtled down the runway and took to the skies, 100% in control and on my own. It felt different. The aircraft was lighter and if things didn’t go to plan on the landing, there was no backup, just me. It was terrifying and exciting.

Flying is a truly indescribable feeling. It’s so much more than controlling a 1.2 tonne metal seagull, it’s freedom, an indescribable feeling.

– Lachie

A record to be claimed

The current record holder

On July 14, 2014, 19-year-old American Matt Guthmiller became the Guinness World Record™ holder as the youngest person to fly solo around the world. Matt completed his journey in 44 days and 12 hours making 23 stops in 15 countries across five continents.

Matt set the record as the youngest person to circumnavigate by aircraft, solo by completing his journey at the age of 19-years, 7 months and 15 days.

A history of the record

The catalyst for bringing this record to life was American/Jamaican Barrington Irving who at the age of 24 became the youngest pilot to circumnavigate the world solo, a feat completed in 2007. Irving also became the first black person and Jamaican to achieve this feat.

In 2012 then 22-year-old  Swiss pilot Carlo Schmid broke Irving’s record, completing his journey in 80 days, flying a Cessna 210 from July 11 to September 29, 2012.

The record was then fleetingly held by two young pilots, Malaysian Captain James Anthony Tan and soon after American Jack Wiegand.

Tan completed his trip at the age of 21-years, 344days in a trek known as ‘1 Malaysian Round the world Expedition (1RTW), his flight concluding in May 2013. The following month, on June 29,  2013 American Jack Wiegand broke the record to complete his trip at the age of 21-years, 7days.

On September 7 2013, the record entered new territory when it was broken by Australian pilot Ryan Campbell, who completed the trip at the age if 19-years and 237days old, turning the record into not just a competition between young pilots, but teenagers.

Campbell held the record for a more significant amount of time than his two predecessors, but he had also laid down a new challenge, which was taken on and bettered by Guthmiller.

Now, with the benchmark set, it is Lachlan Smart who believes he can break the mark set by Guthmiller, and take the record into the tender 18-years age bracket.