Sunshine Coast teenager Lachlan Smart has spent the past two and a half years preparing to fly around the world, and today, that dream became a reality.
The 18-year-old departed from the Sunshine Coast Airport in the early hours of the morning to begin his journey. This trip will see him navigate his way across five continents, 20 countries and cover 24,000 nautical miles in a seven and a half week period, no easy feat for a young man from the modest suburb of Nambour.
Among the kaleidoscope of thoughts Smart has processed throughout the days leading up to his departure, a mixture of nervousness and excitement have surfaced. Unwavering in his confidence for today’s flight, Smart recognised his emotions as a natural occurrence in the leadup to his departure.
“The last few weeks have been a rollercoaster ride of emotions. I have been nervous, excited but moreover focused. I am blocking out the rest and am thinking clearly. I’m prepared,” Smart said prior to his flight.
“There have been a lot of early mornings and late nights. We had a great send off event on Sunday afternoon where I had the chance to farewell friends and family and everyone else who came along and say goodbye.
“Seeing everyone was a real confidence booster for me.”
The first leg of Smart’s trip saw him fly from the Sunshine Coast to Nadi, Fiji. Despite the small nation’s relatively close proximity to Australia, it presented a significant learning curve for Smart as he eases into life as an international ferry pilot over the 53 days scheduled for his trip.