Nambour teenager Lachlan Smart is preparing to be the youngest person to fly solo around the world in a single engine aircraft.
Nambour teenager Lachlan Smart is preparing to be the youngest person to fly solo around the world in a single engine aircraft. Che Chapman

Two weeks till Lachlan heads off to break world-record

FINAL preparations are under way for Nambour teenager Lachlan Smart's world-record making trip around the world.

The planned date for the 17-year-old's departure has been set at July 4.

But unlike most typical teenagers, Lachlan doesn't appear to have given much thought to the clothes he will be taking along the journey.

"I wont' start packing my clothes for another week and a half," he said.

Instead his focus has been on the safety equipment he will need in the worst case scenario.

With his trip taking him across oceans, jungles, deserts, though cold and hot, cities and remote villages he has to prepare for every scenario.

This week he has been getting the "survival bags" and equipment that could be the difference between life and death.

"We are planning for the worst and hoping for the best," he said.

"I have life rafts and life jackets, emergency locator beacons, thermal blankets and equipment you would need for survival."

 

Lachlan Smart gets his plane ready to circumnavigate globe.
Lachlan Smart gets his plane ready to circumnavigate globe. Patrick Woods

Thankfully Lachlan's training with the air force cadets has equipped him in case he faces a Bear Grylls' situation

"I'm comfortable out in the bush, I know how to keep alive in different situations."

Most of the time Lachlan would be wearing a flight suit anyway.

As the clock ticks closer to the departure, Lachlan's admits he is feeling slightly nervous.

"I am very focussed, not excited and just a little bit nervous," he said.

"You need to be, it keeps you on your toes and focussed on what goes on.

"But I have had two-and-a-half years preparation going into this."

Grandfather, Phil Harrip said Lachlan was expected to get the extra fuel tanks he would need for the long stretches along the way fitted this week.

"The final modifications of the aircraft will be taking place this week," he said.

"He will also be getting the radios fitted for longer distances."

Lachlan will do one final test flight, to Norfolk Island, before his departure.

"He will be going with a ferry pilot as a familiarisation for flying long distances over water."

The longest stretch on the 45,000 km, 70 days trip will be about 13 hours of solid flying, from Hawaii to California.

Mr Harrip said if it was up to Lachlan, he would "probably eat Maccers along the way".

And while the single-engined aircraft is equipped with its own parachute, it doesn't have a toilet.

That doesn't seem to be a problem for Lachlan.

"I have a disposable toilet, which is a bag you roll up," he explained.

"There is also the old bottle, as long as you are not going through turbulence."

One lucky teenager will also get to go on a flight with Lachlan when he returns.

Clio Girvin won the Wings Around The World story competition for her engaging piece on Lachlan's brave adventure and his bid to inspire teenagers to achieve their goals.

To follow Lachlan's journey and learn about his goal to inspire teenagers, visit wingsaroundtheworld.com.au



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