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Teen takes off on record flight bid

China Daily | Updated: 2017-05-16 08:14

SYDNEY - A 17-year-old Tasmanian student on Monday set off on his attempt to become the youngest pilot to circumnavigate Australia solo.

Despite not yet being allowed to drive a car without a supervising driver, Oliver O'Halloran started his by flying out of Hobart in his Cessna 172.

He plans to make 16 stops on his 20-day journey, which was inspired by fellow Australian Ryan Campbell, who in 2013 became the youngest pilot to fly around the world solo at 19 years of age.

Michael O'Halloran, Oliver's dad, admitted to being "a little bit teary" and slightly nervous while watching his son take off.

"It's the unknown quality, not so much what Ollie can do but nature and mechanical issues," Michael told the Australian Broadcasting Corp.

The money for the attempt has been raised by Oliver and older brother Sebastian via crowdfunding, with a group of sponsors also contributing.

"It's very exciting being his brother, being alongside him as it's all been done," Sebastian said.

"I've been in the plane with him once before. The idea of being in what's essentially a tin shell in the air, yeah, it's pretty weird."

Oliver said that he would take time to speak at schools during his trip.

"I'm just going to speak to them about achieving their dreams," he said. "That's the main idea behind the flight, the record's just a bonus."

"It's showing that no dream's impossible, that you can get out there and achieve anything if you put your mind to it."


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