Aviation student to attempt world record

May 17, 2018


Editor-in-Chief | sjg021@latech.edu


Andrews will begin his journey around the world in early July and return mid-August. – Photo courtesy of Vantage Health Plan


It has been said in order to achieve success, one must shoot for the sky. The sky is exactly where Mason Andrews is headed as he attempts to break the record for the world’s youngest solo circumnavigation.


Andrews, a sophomore aviation student, said he has had a love for flying since he was a child and was inspired by his father, a former pilot.


“We used to go to air shows, and on Saturdays, we’d just go hang out at the airport and watch the planes land,” he said. “When I was 13, I got to fly for the first time and really loved it and wanted to do that as a career.”


He said the idea to attempt the record came from an idea to fly a friend across the Atlantic Ocean to visit his family.


“I was looking into it to see if I could do it, and I realized that nobody had ever done it before at my age,” he said. “I was going to do that, but with the equipment I was going to have to have installed and the amount of fuel it would take to go all the way over there and come back, I was like, ‘I might as well break the record for the world’s youngest solo circumnavigation’ because that’s a really popular one right now. It’s been broken six times in the past five years.”


The record is currently held by Australian pilot Lachlan Smart, who completed the journey in August 2016 at 18 years and 234 days old. If Andrews is successful, he will beat Smart by an impressive margin, as he just celebrated his 18th birthday in April.


Though Andrews hopes to bring the record back to the United States, his attempt of the record is not merely for his own glory, but to raise awareness and garner attention for MedCamps of Louisiana, a summer camp for special needs children where he has served as a counselor for three years.


“It’s a really important part of my life,” he said. “I just wanted to spend my summer doing something good instead of just hanging around at the house. MedCamps runs entirely off donations, and many families in North Louisiana have no idea their kid would be eligible to come to MedCamp totally free of charge.”


Not only will Andrews’ mission develop attention and support for MedCamps of Louisiana, but also for Tech’s department of professional aviation. Jordan Lyons, chair of the department, said Andrews positively represents the talented students within the program.


“We are very proud of Mason for working so hard both in and out of the aircraft,” he said. “The department is blessed to have such gifted students in our degree programs.”


Lyons said Andrews, who is the first Tech student to attempt the record in the aviation department’s 51 years, said the young pilot also shows character traits needed to complete the program.


“The professional aviation degree program requires perseverance,” he said. “Mason’s flight is a great way to see that perseverance in action. What a way to inspire current and future students.”


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