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.”