The Sulemans plane crashes over the Pacific Ocean. The Sulemans’ Beech A36 Bonanza went down shortly after takeoff from Pago Pago in American Samoa at about 10:15 p.m. Authorities were alerted to its location by signals from the flight’s emergency beacon system. The plane was found in pieces, according to a Coast Guard officer in Honolulu, with the body of Haris nearby. The Coast Guard say they are still looking for the father. Captain Tulele Laolagi:
We found a young boy still strapped to his seat. I think he was ejected from the plane, but it’s too early to tell.
With a trip like this, there’s always a risk, and they did prepare for that risk.
Babar and Haris Suleman report that they are five days behind schedule on their flight, caused by fuel delays and food poisoning. If they do not experience any further delays, they could still obtain records for fastest circumnavigation and youngest pilot if the Guinness World Records committee accepts their application. Babar:
The biggest challenge has been keeping my cool with all of the disorganization and sitting in that tight space for so long. My patience has been tried time and time again.
Suleman and his 17-year-old son, Haris attempt to break the record for the fastest circumnavigation in a single engine plane with the youngest pilot. They plan to take 30 days and make stops in 21 cities. The Sulemans also hope to raise money for Seeds of Learning, a nonprofit organization that supports education in Pakistan. They raise more than $500,000 before even taking off. Babar, on his son:
I think by the time we get done with this trip, he will be a completely different person. Flying is a lot of planning…it teaches a lot of responsibility. I think from that standpoint it’ll be good for him to go in and learn how to be more responsible.