Teen Attempting World Record Flies Through Smyrna

Posted at 5:34 PM, Jul 17, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-17 19:00:26-04

Plenty of locals fly in and out of Smyrna Airport on a daily basis, but an 18-year-old flew in from the other side of the globe with a goal to break a world record.

"Flown all the way from Sunshine Coast in Australia," Lachlan Smart, the 18-year-old Australian pilot, said during his stop in Smyrna on Sunday. 

Smart has been trying to become the youngest person in history to fly around the world, solo, in a single engine aircraft. 

The teen has been in the skies on and off again for about two weeks, with Tennessee being his 8th of 25 stops around the world.

While most people would love to be in the record books, Smart said that's not why he left Australia for this journey called "Wings Around the World." 

"The reason that I've decided to do this is because I want to send a message to young people, and that's a message about setting and achieving high goals," Smart said, adding that to him, age is just a number, and he's hoping to prove that to everyone he meets. "I would hear my peers say, 'I wish I could do this,' or, 'When I'm older I want to do that.' In all honesty, we can do these things now, we're just missing that motivation and self-belief." 

Smart worked for two and a half years to make this journey possible, raising money to pay for the plane and the fuel, but he said the world-record attempt has just been the beginning of his work. 

After landing back in Australia, Smart has planned to start up a business called "Young Achievers International" with his flight team.

"We want to help provide a more practical pathway for teenagers all over the world, and young people, to actually get out there and succeed in their dreams," Smart explained, adding that the program is for any passion a person may have. "You don't have to be extra special to do something pretty cool. The sky's not the limit, and I'm trying to prove that now." 

Smart has been set to leave Nashville on Monday, heading to Niagara Falls before going to Europe, and making his way back to Australia.

The trip has been expected to wrap up by the end of August, which will allow him to break the previous world-record by nearly a year. 

For more information on Smart's flight and to follow along, you can visit his Facebook page by clicking here.