For most 16-year-olds, setting a world record isn’t even on the horizon, let alone a realistic, achievable goal — but Australia’s Liam Morey is no ordinary teenager. Driven by a passion for aviation that he’s had for as long as he can remember, Liam self-funded his Recreational Pilot Certificate in 2017, flew an aircraft on his own the day after he turned 15, and then took things a step further by deciding to set a new world record for youngest solo circumnavigation of Australia by aircraft.
Motivated by a desire to set an example for his peers (and to promote STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) to Aussie high school students), Liam wanted to prove that ‘anything can be achieved with enough perseverance and commitment’ — something Spidertracks was proud to help him with by sponsoring his cross-country odyssey.
Liam and his flight instructor and friend Ivan Tyson began planning the trip in January 2018 and dubbed it Teen Around Oz (TAO). Their mission? For 16-year-old Liam to complete the 16,000-kilometre journey around Australia on his own and to set a new world record as the youngest person ever to do so.
The planning proved challenging, with Liam’s youth presenting one of the first obstacles the TAO team had to overcome. ‘Making sure that someone was going to be there to pick me up when I landed and then let me stay at their place, feed me, and take me back in the morning was an immense effort,’ Liam says. ‘Especially with more than 15 stops!’
In addition to arranging the route, accommodation, and transport with those conditions in mind, Liam and Ivan also had to account for media, presentations, funding, and sponsors — which is where Spidertracks came in. With our team on board and our features and capabilities at their service, Liam and Ivan were able to make some major headway with their planning.
‘By allowing us to take performance data from test flights, analyse it in-house, and adjust our plan accordingly, Spidertracks helped us significantly even before I started the trip,’ Liam notes.
Once they’d nailed down all the details and settled on a route — from the Sunshine Coast north to the Cape, west to Darwin and south to Perth, east to Melbourne through Forrest and Adelaide, down to Hobart, then back to the starting point — Liam took off in September 2018 and put his Spider to the test in flight.
Spidertracks’ world-class real-time tracking software kept a watchful eye on Liam at all times and provided his family and followers with his location at any given second, an asset he says he wouldn’t have been able to do without.
‘The whole mission hinged on my mum knowing where I was at every single moment of the day. So without Spidertracks, Teen Around Oz would never have happened!’
In addition to soothing mum’s nerves, Spidertracks’ performance data helped the TAO logistics team keep Liam’s flights on schedule and make any necessary adjustments on the go — and Liam says it even helped him improve his own skills as a pilot.
‘Whether you’re a 100-hour newbie or a 15,000-hour commercial pilot flying privately, Spidertracks is an aviation tool you should have,’ he says.
In the end, the intrepid pilot completed his record-setting journey in 23 days: 15 flying, five days resting, and three days representing TAO’s sponsors at the AirVenture Australia show. He and Ivan have nothing but good things to say about how their Spider performed and how much it helped them in both the early stages of planning and on a daily basis when Liam was navigating the Aussie skies.
‘From the very start, we received excellent support, and the unit performed flawlessly,’ Ivan tells us. ‘We’ve used other tracking devices before in our Aero Club, but we found these to be less than reliable and not as easy to use. Spidertracks was a perfect solution for a complex flight.’
As for Liam’s final thoughts? ‘Spidertracks was truly a fantastic asset, and we couldn’t ask for anything more from our unit!’
Want to try Spidertracks for yourself? Take a demo here.