Queensland teenager Lachlan Smart has visited 18 countries in the past 45 days, and he’s visited them all under his own steam on what is Guinness World Record breaking solo flight around the world.
Two and a half years ago a just turned 16-year-old Smart, who hails from a modest Australian family in the sleepy suburb of Nambour on the Sunshine Coast, was inspired to by fellow Aussie Ryan Campbell, who a handful of months earlier had become the youngest person to circumnavigate the globe solo, in a single engine aircraft.
Now 18, Smart is on the verge of achieving just that.
Three-years ago Campbell returned to Australia on September 7, 2013 as the youngest person to fly around the world at 19-years and 237 days old. Less than a year later American Matt Guthmiller again lowered the record, this time to 19-years, 7 months and 15 days.
Now Smart is set to take the record into new territory when he arrives back on the Sunshine Coast on August 27. He will lower the mark to 18-years, 7 months and 21 days, completing the trip when he is almost a full year younger than Guthmiller, in the process bringing the record back to Australia.
The motivation for taking on this gigantic task is for Smart to prove that age is usually just a number and shouldn’t limit aspiration. He created Wings Around the World from nothing but an idea; a love of flying and a dream to show people that anything can be achieved.
However before he returns to the sunshine state, the first stop back on Australian soil for the teenager will be Broome, Western Australia following an eight-hour flight from Jakarta, Indonesia.
It will be a welcome return to a familiar setting for the young man who in the past six weeks has hopped from country to country, working with different national aviation authorities on a daily basis.
So far he has visited Fiji, American Samoa, Kiribati, Hawaii, mainland USA, Canada, The Azores, Great Britain, France, Greece, Egypt, Oman, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and today will land in Indonesia prior to his Australian return.
From Broom Smart will travel east to Darwin, then Longreach, Bundaberg and finally the Sunshine Coast by August 27.
World record aside, the only other certainty is that his mother is the most excited person in the world to welcome home her son.