Australian teen completes record around-the-world flight

An Australian teenager has become the youngest person to fly solo around the world in a single-engine aircraft. 

Local fire trucks welcomed Lachlan Smart's Cirrus SR22 plane on Saturday with an arc of water at the airport where friends, family, supporters and local media were waiting.

Smart touched down his plane at an airstrip in Marcoola in the state of Queensland, from where he had departed on July 4.

"I am on an absolute high at the moment," he told reporters after landing.

Smart is 18 years, seven months and 21 days old. He broke the record held by American Matt Guthmiller, who was about a year older when he completed his world trip.

Smart said he faced some difficulty, but there were "no major failures of equipment."

He stopped in 24 locations and 15 countries to claim a new Guinness World Record.

He said he faced five hours of bad turbulence when flying over Saudi Arabia and had problems with air traffic control in India, Malaysia and Indonesia.

Smart, a business student, said he hoped his achievement would inspire other teenagers.

"The whole reason I did this trip was to hopefully motivate other people to achieve great things as well," he said.

Smart said he does not have any plans to be a commercial pilot, because flying a repetitive route would "lose the magic of aviation."

Last update: Sun, 28/08/2016 - 14:53

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