Eighteen-year-old Australian Lachie Smart says he is just an average teenager. But he can also boast a Guinness world record - the youngest person to ever fly around the world solo. However, he says that it doesn't take an extraordinary person to do extraordinary things.
Lachie’s epic journey spanned ten weeks, 24,000 nautical miles, 26 stops in 20 countries, over a total of five continents, but Lachie says the flight wasn’t just about breaking world records.
“I did it to send a message to young people about setting and achieving goals. I wanted to show people that if I can do it, they can too".
“I don't want my generation to feel like they can never do something important. I want to see them make a difference. ” says Lachie.
Lachie says that while he was the only one in the aircraft, it was thanks to support from aviation companies that allowed others to share in the journey and feel like they were there also.
“My location and flight history was sent in real-time through a Spidertracks embedded on my website.
“It was awesome to have so much buzz around the flight. There were all sorts of people taking an interest and keeping tabs on the flight progress, which helped keep me going.”
“The most challenging part of the flight for me was when I had to fly through some particularly bad weather between American Samoa and Christmas Island.
“There was an issue with fuel pumps not transferring fuel because of an air bubble. The weather was bad enough to require me to hand fly the plane, and there were a bunch of other problems I was facing. It’s scary for sure, but in situations like that, you just have to make sure you keep a level head and identify what’s a priority and what isn’t.”
Lachie’s epic journey began in his hometown on the Sunshine Coast on July 4 this year and came full circle when he landed at Maroochydore Airport on the August 26.
Despite the challenges faced on the flight, Lachie was comforted by the fact that he always had the Spider onboard to keep in touch with his support team.
“Having the Spider onboard was a great help. Not only did it allow my family, friends and support team to know exactly where I was at all times, but with Altitude Events built in to the device, they were immediately able to know if anything wasn’t right.”
“It’s just a really great device to have just for general peace of mind. Even though I was often flying over pretty remote territory, it was good to know that I was never really alone. Everyone knew where I was, and utilising Spidertxt 2.0 I was always able to be connected via text, anywhere in the world.”
Among Lachie’s many fans is Spidertracks CEO Dave Blackwell, who is proud that Spidertracks was able to assist with such an inspiring journey. “It’s really uplifting to know that an individual as young as Lachie was able to achieve such a goal. I think it just goes to show what people can achieve when they believe in something and back themselves to get it done."
“Lachie’s efforts really resonates with our core values of learning and excellence, and I'm delighted that we were able to provide tracking and communication to keep him safe and connected to those on the ground."
Following his achievement Lachie is busy with a host of new projects, including setting up a new company “Young Achiever’s International”, continuing with his busy talk schedule and writing a book about the journey and the mindset it took for him to achieve it. He’s also hopes to begin the transition to flying larger aircraft, and will continue spreading his inspiring message to others with around the world.