An 18-year-old British pilot is on track to break the world record for the youngest person to fly solo round the world in a single-engine aircraft.
Travis Ludlow, from Buckinghamshire, England, departed Teuge in The Netherlands on May 29th, heading east across Europe via Poland, before flying through Russia, Alaska and Canada.
As of June 28th, he is currently in Tampa, Florida in the United States.
His remaining hops will take him up the Eastern Seaboard via New York, then back into Canada, before continuing on to Greenland, Iceland, Ireland (a stop in Donegal), Portugal, Morocco, Gibraltar, Spain, UK, France and Belgium — landing back in the Netherlands on July 7th.
The teenage pilot is making the trip in a Cessna 172R, regarded as the safest single engine aircraft ever built, upgraded with the latest avionics and aerodynamic fairings. Another useful aspect is that the plane has sold 44,000 units, meaning there are very few aviation maintenance facilities in the world that do not have experience of the 172 aircraft, should Travis' plane require repairs.
The current world record holder is Mason Andrews from the US, who completed his round-the-word trip aged 18-and-a-half, in 2018. Ludlow hopes to complete his trip and be about 20 days younger than Andrews.