- Wednesday 20 July 2016
The American leg of Sunshine Coast teenager Lachlan Smart's world record flight attempt will draw to a close in a handful of days, with his bold trip named Wings Around the World headed for Europe, via The Azores, an autonomous region of Portugal.
In the past week, Lachlan has stopped in Las Vegas, flown over the Grand Canyon en route to the pilot favourite "Hangar Hotel" in Texas and crossed over the Mississippi River to touch down in the country music capital of the world, Nashville, Tennessee. Overnight he will fly to Niagara Falls, his final stop on USA soil.
From there he will fly to St Johns in Canada, before a trip over the North Atlantic Ocean to make his way to Europe.
There have been two recent alterations the young pilot's schedule, with the stop in Nashville scheduled as a means to break up what would have been a lengthy flight from Fredericksburg, Texas to Niagara Falls, New York. The change ensured Lachlan maintained his astute practice of taking preventative measures when it comes to fatigue management wherever possible throughout the trip.
The second alteration will come early next week when the 18-year-old diverts from his initial intended route through Iceland and Scotland to instead fly from St Johns, Canada to The Azores.
The change echoes the decision made last week when Lachlan delayed his flight from Hawaii to California due to unfavourable weather to eliminate any unnecessary risk.
"Flying from Canada to The Azores means that I will have better weather, and it also decreases the chance of icing on my wings," Lachlan said.
"This makes me a lot more comfortable in the management of this flight, especially with another big ocean crossing coming up over the North Atlantic."
With the USA leg of his flight coming to a close, Lachlan will be just over a third of the way through his global odyssey when he touches down in Canada.
Once in European territory, he will have crossed his northernmost point on the trip and will be at the start of his trip south, back home to the Sunshine Coast.