Reuters International

By Harry Pearl

SYDNEY (Reuters) - An Australian teenager made history on Saturday by becoming the youngest person to complete a solo circumnavigation of the world in a single engine aircraft.

Lachlan Smart, from Queensland, touched down at Maroochydore Airport on the Sunshine Coast, where he had first taken off from on July 24.

At 18 years, 7 months and 21 days, Smart is a year younger than the previous record holder, American Matt Guthmiller.

“What a welcome,” Smart said after landing to cheers from supporters. “To actually be here, having flown around the world, for over 24,000 nautical miles is just a great relief.”

The teenager stopped in 24 locations and 15 countries during his seven-week trip. He said the weather and communicating with foreign air traffic controllers were his biggest challenges.

(This version of the story has been refiled to fix typo in name in third paragraph)

(Reporting by Harry Pearl; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)


 Reuters International