The final fortnight Q&A with Lachlan Smart, Part IV

In the final fortnight before Lachlan Smart departs for his trip around the world that has been two and a half years in the planning, we sat down with him to get his thoughts on where he is at, what he has learned, ask about his plane and finally, discuss details of the trip.

READ PART I HERE
READ PART II HERE
READ PART III HERE

Part IV – The trip, fatigue & preparation


There was a half-Australia trip recently, how did you go flying every day for about a week?

I handled it really well, the fatigue didn’t hit me too badly. Towards the end I did get a little tired as the days built up.

How do you expect to manage your fatigue and any stress over 7.5 weeks?

In almost every location I have extra days, so I will be managing my fatigue be ensuring I have appropriate rest. There are only handful of back to back flights throughout the trip.

I only have one, and in some instances two or three days in between legs, and that will allow me to conduct the flight safely and ensure everything is sorted out and ready to go well in advance of the next time I jump into the plane.

Which part of the trip are you looking forward to the most?

I am really looking forward to the United Kingdom, I have a week there and the aircraft will be maintained over that time. I also get to see family and finally, at the end of that week I get to fly over the white cliffs of Dover. That has been a dream of mine.

In saying that, I am also looking forward to the USA and the aviation aspect of things there.

It’s been a busy time so far, but what has been the best part of the preparation so far?

It has actually been very stressful and that isn’t always enjoyable. But I have kept the big picture in sight and focusing on delivering my message to as many people as possible.

The best part is that I have a really great team around me, and they all believe in this and they want it to succeed, and that has been really enjoyable.

People have likened this to Ryan Campbell and Jessica Watson, and it is…but it isn’t just about chasing records is it? How important is your message?

Surprisingly, the reasoning behind this trip isn’t just the record, the fact that the record exists is just a bonus. The real reason for the trip is the message behind it, it’s about achieving high goals.

Really, if I, a kid from Nambour on Sunshine Coast can plan this trip to fly around the world over two and a half year period, imagine what we could do with a whole generation with like-minded thinking!

Do you think this will inspire others, especially in your community?

I wouldn’t be doing this trip if I didn’t know it wasn’t inspiring others, it the whole reason I am doing this. I love seeing it all work and take off. If others chase their dreams, that is just excellent!

The final fortnight Q&A with Lachlan Smart, Part III

In the final fortnight before Lachlan Smart departs for his trip around the world that has been two and a half years in the planning, we sat down with him to get his thoughts on where he is at, what he has learned, ask about his plane and finally, discuss details of the trip.

READ PART I HERE
READ PART II HERE
READ PART IV HERE

Part III – In depth, detail about the Cirrus SR-22


Q: Tell us about the plane, what’s it like to fly the Cirrus SR-22?

LS: Flying this plane is phenomenal, it’s a real step up from all the other aircraft that I have flown. The performance of it when you fly it manually is great, and then it has features like an autopilot and the entire flight system which is really outstanding.

Q: What about in non-pilot speak, what’s it similar to?

LS: This cirrus is the jetliner of general aviation, stepping from some other planes into this is like going from a Toyota Corolla to a Mercedes-Benz.

Q: You’re yet to have the extra fuel tanks fitted, in simple words, how does that work?

LS: Essentially this fuel system will extend my range by two times as much as the standard fuel tanks in the plane. So instead of having five hours of fuel, I will have 15 hours.

The ferry tank replaces the back seats, and it is essentially a big rubber tank, cylindrical in shape and quite large, so I will fill it to just under capacity. It will allow me to transfer the fuel into the right hand side fuel tank, which feeds directly into the engine.

Q: Why do you supply fuel to the right hand tank only?

LS: Without getting too technical, I use the left hand tank for takeoff and use about half of that during the flight, and then switch to the right and keep topping that up. The weight of the fuel remaining in the left hand side tank can then be used as a counterbalance for the extra fuel that is going in the right hand side. It’s a safety measure from a weight and balance scenario, but also it’s safe to keep fuel in the left in case the pump in the right hand side fails and I need to land the plane somewhere.

Q:  How do you fill the ferry tank?

LS:  A tube comes out the top of the tank like a pipe, and that comes out the door so I can fill it up from outside the aircraft.

10 Burning Questions, 10 Day Countdown

With just days left until Lachie departs and Wings Around the World kicks off, we asked him 10 burning questions about the trip! We’ll post a new answer each day we count down!

10 Days to go (1)

ANSWER: I have a small portable toilet…or a bottle (if necessary)


 

10 Days to go (2)

ANSWER: Absolutely, it allows me to fly over the grand canyon! (It seems legit, Lachie isn’t over 21!)


 

10 Days to go (3)

ANSWER: I’ll make sure we chat regularly to let her know i’m doing ok!


 

10 Days to go (4)

ANSWER: It has it’s own parachute, which is an incredible safety feature!


 

10 Days to go (6)

ANSWER: We’ll have our LIVE STREAMING service ready to go but importantly, you can ALWAYS see where my plane is via Spidertracks!


 

10 Days to go (8)

ANSWER: Red Bull Air Race pilot Matt Hall! I was lucky enough to meet Matt a few weeks ago at the Old Station Fly In & Heritage Show at Raglan a few weeks ago. It was a privilege to swap stories with Australia’s fastest pilot!


 

10 Days to go (9)

ANSWER: It’s hard to single out one country above all else, honestly! But if I had to, I would say the USA is close to the top, just for the fact that it is somewhere I have always wanted to fly through…Grand Canyon anyone?


 

10 Days to go (10)

ANSWER: I’m not sure yet! There are plenty of places at home that I love…but I guess really, the world is my oyster!


 

Screen Shot 2016-07-02 at 2.02.39 pm

ANSWER: No doubt, that is very, very cool! My team have worked so hard to make sure the paperwork is ready for that. Of course it isn’t the sole purpose of my trip, I want to help inspire others to chase their dreams too!


 

10 Days to go (1)

ANSWER: The people close to me have been absolutely incredible. My team, my friends, my family…I may be the the one doing this, but it didn’t happen without them. On top of that the public support is almost overwhelming. To have men older than I with more life experience coming up to me to say I have inspired them, it really means a lot.


 

The final fortnight Q&A with Lachlan Smart, Part II

In the final fortnight before Lachlan Smart departs for his trip around the world that has been two and a half years in the planning, we sat down with him to get his thoughts on where he is at, what he has learned, ask about his plane and finally, discuss details of the trip.

READ PART I HERE
READ PART III HERE
READ PART IV HERE

Part II – What have been the most significant learnings for Lachie so far?


Q: You’re only 18, what has been the biggest learning curve so far? 

LS: I think as teenagers, we have a tendency to feel that we know everything and don’t need the opinions of other people…but we do. I have had to learn to listen to others, and really nail down that life skill. I think that we have two ears and one mouth for a reason, so I have had to take notice of that.

I’ve also learned a lot about planning. You always need an A and B plan, but to be properly prepared plans C and D cannot be far behind!

Q: There’s been a lot of support – especially in the past few months, it doesn’t go unnoticed does it? 

LS: Not at all, the support we have had has been nothing short of excellent. Everything from the fly-ins to our dinners, partners, sponsors, media and the general community has been great. It really does give me extra confidence to see that and it is vital for me to have that before I depart to head around the world.


“I think as teenagers, we have a tendency to feel that we know everything and don’t need the opinions of other people…but we do” – Lachlan Smart


Q: Sponsorship is a hard game, what have you learnt? 

LS: It is. But to me it hasn’t just been learning about sponsorship, but also business in general. Every sponsorship is essentially a business transaction; it’s about what two parties can give each other…quid pro quo (this for that).

Working with the team on sponsorship has given me a good head start on my future plans with my Young Achievers International business, it has been great learning and I love to learn new, practical things. I think I am even warming to the idea of maybe completing tertiary studies (I think).

Q: How great are your partners?

LS: It’s been excellent to have the support of individuals and larger corporations alike. There are things that I just cannot do logistically on my own, and it is a huge support to see people buy into Wings Around the World both physically and tangibly, and not just on an emotional level.

Q: We bet you’ve never listened to so much Hot 91 in your life?! 

LS: Absolutely not! It’s exciting to have these guys on board with us! (Read more about the partnership with Hot91 FM HERE)

The final fortnight Q&A with Lachlan Smart, Part I

In the final fortnight before Lachlan Smart departs for his trip around the world that has been two and a half years in the planning, we sat down with him to get his thoughts on where he is at, what he has learned, ask about his plane and finally, discuss details of the trip.

READ PART II HERE
READ PART III HERE
READ PART IV HERE

Part I – How Lachlan Smart feels about Wings Around the World with so little time to go


Q: Just under 2 weeks until you leave, what are you thinking?

Lachlan: At the moment I’m not excited or nervous, I’m just focused. I have a bit of time to go, but I think, as my departure date gets closer, I will definitely begin to feel more excited.

Q: It seems like yesterday you announced this air venture, where has the time gone?

L: It’s incredible how fast things have gone and the progress that has been made. I remember when we were at a year to go, it seems like yesterday. Now we’re within two weeks, I don’t know where the time has gone, but it’s exciting!


“Yes, I will admit that I am a bit nervous. I think that is only natural.” – Lachlan Smart


Q: What will you be doing in the days leading up to your departure?

L: I leave for another preparation flight out to Norfolk Island and back soon to make sure all the systems are working, and I am doing that alongside another very experienced pilot.

In the immediate days before I depart I will be preparing everything in the aircraft to make sure I know where everything from my lunch box to my survival equipment is kept (one and the same, right?).

We also have our great departure event and I guess I should say goodbye to family too.

IMG_7880 copy
Before Wings Around the World was publicly launched – it’s come a long way!

Q: Are you nervous?

L: Yes, I will admit that I am a bit nervous. I think that is only natural.

Having a few nerves will keep me on my toes. It isn’t a nervousness that makes me scared or uncomfortable, nothing like that. It’s a good safety net to be this nervous.

I am comfortable in my own company, so spending so much time on my own will not be an issue. I am maybe more worried about mum, but she will be fine!

Hot 91 FM partner with Wings Around the World

In a little over a fortnight’s time Sunshine Coast teenager Lachlan Smart will take off on what he hopes will be a world record breaking flight, and he’ll be doing it to the beats of the 80’s, 90’s and now, thanks to a radio partnership with local station Hot 91 FM.

In the flight, known as Wings Around the World, Smart is attempting to become the youngest person in history to fly solo around the world in a single engine aircraft, and with support in the local Sunshine Coast community growing, Hot 91 FM will be flying with him throughout the journey to provide the Sunny Coast with updates throughout the seven and a half week odyssey.

Hot 91 FM breakfast producer and afternoons’ announcer Ashlea Gierke said she was excited to follow the Wings Around the World journey and be a part of the team providing news updates throughout the trip.

“He’s so young and it is such a big thing to do. Flying around the world is a huge achievement for anyone, let alone an 18-year-old,” Gierke said.

“It’s exciting because it is so close to home, you have to ask yourself what you were doing at 18? We’ve spoken a few times and he is so prepared, I think he will blow a few people’s minds. What he is doing is huge, it’s like what Jessica Watson did, but maybe a bit bigger.”


“We’ve spoken a few times and he is so prepared, I think he will blow a few people’s minds. What he is doing is huge, it’s like what Jessica Watson did, but maybe a bit bigger”

– Ashlea Gierke


While the lure of a Guinness World Record is one thing, Smart has been busy using this flight as a way to spread his message that anyone, particularly youth can achieve high goals, a mantra that Gierke says cannot be given enough airtime.

“The message that Lachie is trying to spread really says you can do anything, whatever you can set your mind to and that message cannot be pushed enough,” she said.

“A lot of schools put pressure on final results, and there is just so much more to life, and Lachlan doing what no other 18-year-old has done is showing that.”

While final preparations are now in full swing for Smart, the chance to link with Hot 91 FM has him eager to get underway and keep the Sunshine Coast community in the loop the entire way.

“I’m excited to have Hot 91 FM as our official radio partner, they’re a station with a lot of listeners and it can help spread our message of youth achievement,” Smart said.

“This partnership really adds to the way we can reach people, which is great because there is a real sense of community support on the coast and I think this partnership reflects that.”

Lachlan Smart will depart the Sunshine Coast in the early hours of Monday July 4. The community and media are invited to the Sunshine Coast Airport a day prior on Sunday July 3 for an official farewell beginning at 2pm AEST.