Lachlan Smart is 'Wings around the World'

by User Not Found | Jun 09, 2016

Lachlan Smart and airplane

ASG student Lachlan Smart wants to break the mould and that’s why, he has left the Sunshine Coast to hopefully become the youngest person in history to fly solo around the world.

Since October 2013 Lachlan has been planning his solo flight with painstaking detail and care, alongside a team of experts and a support crew of family and friends.

“It is not a simple thing to plan.”

“Twenty four stops around the world that I have to organise customs, fuel, immigration, accommodation and visas for in every location, so I have to make sure it’s done correctly. If I muck this up, I could end up getting arrested or worse.” 

Before takeoff, Lachlan spent many hours in the sky and recently went on a flight around Australia enduring different challenges and conditions.     

“In preparing for this journey, I shifted my studies to aviation and made sure I was very up to date with everything I needed to know mechanically with the aircraft, and technically with flying it.”

Lachlan will also be physically and mentally challenged as some flight legs may take up to 14 hours, demanding him to be constantly alert especially during complex operations.   

Titled Wings Around the World, Lachlan hopes to spread a message of hope and inspire other young people to make their ambitions a reality.

“So often I see my friends and my peers at school or the Air Force Cadets have dreams but they don’t have the motivation. So I want to lead the way and show that it doesn’t take somebody extraordinary to achieve an extraordinary task.” 

Lachlan says self belief and motivation can go a long way.

“I think there are a lot of people with phenomenal ideas, brilliant minds and things they could go on and achieve but they don’t because they’re bound by a system that’s already set in place.  So I want to break the mould a little bit and show if you have an idea, there is nothing holding you back from achieving it.”

Before revealing his plans, he had a solid team of aviation and business professionals who helped him plan his solo flight and make Wings Around the World happen.

“At the start people thought it was a bit of a joke and said, ‘good work Lachie,’ but after two or three months my parents said ‘you’re really serious’ and from that point on they have become a really integral part of the team.”

Back home on the Sunshine Coast they’ll be able to track Lachlan’s flight position and locate him using a GPS locator.

“One of our safety risk mitigation plans is something called the Spider Trax system so there’s a member of the team who can always monitor my position. I’ll always have someone watching the tracker and they can also monitor weather conditions, so if there’s an area I need to avoid they’ll let me know through the satellite phone or text me through the spider tracking system.”

As Lachlan makes his way over oceans and desert terrain (live tracker), he says there’s no place for error.

“I’m making sure that I’ve got a contingency plan and a back up for everything.”

He’ll also be in constant communication with air traffic controllers through the HR radio which is designed for long distance communication over water.

In about eight weeks time, Lachlan hopes to be complete Wings Around the Worldand touch down on the Sunshine Coast, but before then, he says he’s got a lot of learning to do. 

“Education is extremely important to me and being a pilot, you should be learning something new every time you go up, whether it be a weather condition or learning how to navigate instrument failure. But the second you stop learning and you stop taking things in, it gets a lot more dangerous, not just in the sky, but life in general.

I think every opportunity is a learning opportunity, particularly with setbacks because it brings you that little bit closer to success.”

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