INTERNATIONAL FELLOWSHIP OF FLYING ROTARIANS (AUSTRALIA) Inc.
Egypt to Muscat, Oman) 9.2 hours
New World Record Attempt
At 4:30 am, Monday 4th July an 18 year old Lachie Smart, departed from Sunshine Coast Airport on his around the world flight. His first stop was Fiji, a planned non stop flight of 10 hours. Two days later he was on his way to Pago Pago, American Samoa, then Christmas Island before tracking north to Hawaii.
Lachie operated SpiderTracks, a small device mounted on his glareshield, which sent his position, ground speed and altitude via satelite to his family and friends so his flight could be monitored. Lachie also has a Satelite phone, in addition to his normal HF and VHF radios.
From Hawaii, the flight continued to Holister, California, the longest leg of the whole flight plan around the world. The majority of the flight across the pacific was between 9,000 and 10,000 feet.
At Holister, his trusty Cirrus SR22 VH-IBC was due for an oil change, before continuing on to Las Vegas and south to Fredericksburg, Texas, whehe he spen two nights in the Hangar Hotel, located on the airfield.
From Fredericksburg, Lachie tracked to Nashville before heading north to Niagara, where the Mayor gave him the Keys to the City for his short stay of two nights. Next off to St Johns, Canada, before his next planned 9 hour flight across the North Atlantic to Santa Maria, Azores, Portugal. Next leg saw Lachie flying over the northern edge of France, across the English Channel to Biggin Hill, an airport south of London, which is best known for its role in The Battle of Brittain.
Lachie chose this airfield to land because both his Great Grandfathers operated from Biggin Hill during World War 2. His family have joined him for 10 days to enjoy sharing the important part of history.
This young adventurer next flew on to Cannes in the south of France, before heading off to Heraklion, Crete. Next stop was Hurghada, Egypt, carefully avoiding flying over Cairo. From Egypt, the next leg took him across Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and onto Muscat, Oman
Crete to Egypt 5 hours
Cannes to Crete 6.75 hours
Biggin Hill to Cannes 4.25 hours
The young adventurer spent 2 days in Oman before setting course south east across the Arabian sea to cut across the most southern tip of India to Sri Lanka, a non-stop flight of 1,640 nautical miles taking 10.6 hours, and almost all of it over water. From Sri Lanka, Lachie tracked east and again mostly over water to Kuala Lumpur, a mere 8.5 hours and enjoying a 25-30 kt tail wind.
After a two night spell at KL, he was off on a 5 hour flight to Jakata. Only one night spent here, the next afternoon saw him being welcomed back onto Australian soil in Broome, where his grand parents had organised a surprise visit to greet him on his arrival. The local maintenance organisation King Leopold Air, also arranged for the airport fire trucks to give Lachie a shower as he taxied in to the apron. An oil change at Broome and a 50 hourly check on the Saturday morning made him ready for a departure to Darwin on Sunday 21st August. From Darwin, Lachie followed the path Bert Hinkler took in 1928 when he flew from London to Bundaberg on what then was an incredible feat. Lachie enjoyed a leisurely flight from Darwin to Longreach, and then on to Bundaberg, the home of Bert Hinkler. A 60 knot tail wind helped on this leg to Bundaberg. After two nights in Longreach and two nights in Bundaberg, Lachie was well prepared for his final short leg back to the Sunshine Coast Airport to an incredible welcome by friends, families and local governments representatives. He has broken the world record to be the youngest pilot to fly solo around the world, completing the flight in 54 days, having flown 25,000 miles. Lachie was 18 years 7 months and 21 days old on the completion of his flight, having knocked 349 days off the current record holder and more the 1 year off Ryan Campbell's record flight in 2013. Ryan, one of Lachies greatest supporters and mentors, was amongst the large gathering at Sunshine Coast Airport to welcome Lachan Smart on Saturday 27th August 2016.
Well done Lachie.
Top left: the rousing welcome home for Lachie to the Sunshine Coast
Top right: Lachie and his trusty Cirrus SR22 Spirit of the Sushine Coast
Bottom left: Lachie with his two greatest fans, father Will and his mother Vanessa.
Lachie Smart with a previous record holder, Ryan Campbell