National & International

Bucks teen pilot goes after round-the-world record

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An 18-year-old pilot is hoping to become the youngest person to fly solo around the world in a single-engine aircraft, according to the BBC.

Travis Ludlow, from Ibstone, Buckinghamshire, took off from Wycombe Air Park to start his journey.

He is hoping to complete the 24,900-mile (40,072km) journey, taking in Europe, Russia, and the United States, in about 45 days.

“The sense of accomplishment will be amazing,” he said.

His father, Nick Ludlow, said Travis first came up with the idea when he was 10 years old.

Travis, who had hoped to do the trip last year but had to postpone it due to the coronavirus pandemic, began flying aged 12 and became the UK’s youngest glider pilot at 14.

The journey will take him across Europe, through Russia and America, before returning via Canada, Greenland, and Iceland.

Travis said the journey will take 40 to 45 days to complete, taking in about 60 stops across nine countries.

His first stop will be in Holland, where he will officially start his record bid, but he is most looking forward to traveling across Russia.

“There are a lot of negative connotations with the younger generation and I feel my doing this can inspire people and show all generations anyone can follow their dreams.

“I’m more excited than nervous. As long as I stick to what I’ve trained for, with the huge amount of hours that I’ve been practicing, I feel it will all go to plan.”

The current record is held by Mason Andrews, from Louisiana, America, who completed his flight around the world aged 18 years and 163 days in 2018.

Travis is 18 years and 103 days old.

“The record doesn’t really matter,” he said. “The excitement of going and doing what he’s doing means he’s going to come back a different person.”

Guinness World Records said any such record attempt can take a number of weeks to verify once completed.

A spokeswoman said in order to break the record Travis must supply an official flight log containing details of all take-off and landing times, as well as photographic and video evidence, and witness statements.

She said the route must also “surpass a distance of 24,900 miles”.

Image source: General Aviation Support Egypt – G.A.S.E.

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