MONROE, LA – An 18-year-old Louisiana Tech student is attempting to become the youngest pilot to ever fly solo around the world.
Professional Aviation Student Mason Andrews took to the air on July 22 in his father’s 1976 Piper Lance PA32R-300 aircraft, which he has named The Spirit of Louisiane.
The aircraft’s name both honors Louisiana’s French heritage and serves as a callback to Charles Lindbergh’s plane, the Spirit of St. Louis, which Lindbergh successfully flew across the Atlantic to become the world’s first transatlantic pilot.
Although Andrews started his journey in Monroe, he plans to mimic Lindbergh’s historic flight st several key stages.
Andrews will depart the United States from an airport in Long Island near the one where Lindbergh began his journey, and he will land in Paris at Le Bourget, the same place Lindbergh landed.
According to Andrews, the teen’s flightpath will take him to or over 22 countries and is expected to take 44 days, depending on the weather and the availability of fuel at remote outposts like islands in Fiji and Samoa during his Pacific crossing.
Andrews kicked off an online GoFundMe campaign to raise $125,000 for the journey, with the additional proceeds going to MedCamps of Louisiana.