Ben Coogan

He’s Done it!  Guinness World Record is his!

Ben Coogan

29 August 2016


It was a truly momentous occasion when 18 year old Lachlan Smart landed his aircraft at the Sunshine Coast Airport on Saturday morning, 27 August 2016.

Lachie became the youngest person to ever complete a solo circumnavigation of the world in a single engine aircraft.  He departed the same airport on the Sunshine Coast on 4 July 2016 and stopped in 24 locations in 15 countries along the 7 week journey that would see him achieve this record.

Lachlan Smart

Lachlan arriving back into Australia. Photo credit: Barry Alsop

The previous record was set by a young American, Matt Guthmiller, who completed his circumnavigation when he was 19 years, 7 months and 15 days.  Lachie was 18 years, 7 months and 21 days old when he achieved his record.

As a sponsor, through the provision of pro bono legal services to him and his Wings Around The World team, we previously wrote about Lachie’s attempt here and here.

Obviously, setting a Guinness World Record was a priority for Lachie.  However, he always identified another reason being:

‘I have always, for as long as I can remember, wanted to inspire others, particularly young people, to chase their dreams…  

The trip wasn’t just the flight itself, it was creating a dream, building a team, raising funds and spreading the message of youth achievement to people all around the world.  It has been an amazing journey and something I am very proud of’.

As part of the homecoming celebrations last Saturday, Lachie was presented with the Keys to the City by Sunshine Coast Mayor and a handwritten letter written by Bert Hinkler (being the first person to fly solo from England to Australia, and the first person to fly solo across the Southern Atlantic Ocean), passed on by a relative of the aviation legend.

Lachie plans to de-brief his flight and get a well-earned rest before announcing the next stage of his plans to inspire and help young people achieve more than they thought possible.  However, we know that he has established a company called ‘Young Achievers International’ and we are sure that his next stage will be focussed on helping other youth achieve their dreams.  We will write more on this as news comes to hand.

We are proud to have been involved in supporting Lachie in this journey, preparations for which commenced more than 2.5 years ago.  Congratulations to Lachie – it is a tremendous achievement for him and his Wings Around The World Team.