With just 10 days to go until his expected homecoming in Wollongong, NSW on Saturday September 7, Merimbula teenager Ryan Campbell has ticked off another major hurdle in his Teen World Flight adventure after passing through three quarter distance.
The 19-year-old Campbell touched down in Colombo, Sri Lanka late night, Sunday August 25 Australian time, after completing his 10-1/2 hour, 1586nm journey from Muscat in Oman.
It was Ryan’s second longest flight since leaving Australia, shadowing his epic 2124nm voyage across the Pacific on July 9.
“It was a pretty good flight and nothing too surprising,” Ryan said from Colombo.
“There were a few delays in Muscat trying to get the fuelling right, and then the airport was shut and a runway closed, but I was the first one out, and it was smooth sailing to Sri Lanka.
“Once I got there everything was fine and the people on the ground were very friendly.”
Ryan’s arrival in Colombo completes what has been an eventful six days through Europe and the Middle East. He has encountered delays, route changes, difficulties with airport staff as well as the expected hurdles associated travelling through the region.
“Yes, it has been a challenging few days. Logistically it’s been a bit of a nightmare with a lot of issues,” he said.
“Some of the counties I’ve been to are not accustomed to light aircraft coming in and out of their airports.
“In the end it shows that with all the planning we’ve put in over the last two years, things can still go wrong.”
Ryan spent a second night in Colombo before heading to Jakarta’s Halim Perdanakusuma Airport in Indonesia yesterday, Tuesday, August 27. Ryan had originally planned to arrive in Padang, but an absence of Avgas at the airport has force him to alter his route.
Next on the agenda will be Campbell’s final major ocean crossing from Jakarta to Broome tomorrow, Thursday August 29, before he zigzags his way across Australia with stops at Alice Springs and Broken Hill en route to Wollongong, NSW.
Ryan said he was looking forward to being back with family and friends and thanked all his sponsors for their generosity.
“I can’t thank my sponsors and supporters enough. They are the ones who have made this journey possible. I look forward to seeing everyone at Wollongong and paying back their tremendous faith,” he said.
Ryan is due to finish his journey – and break the world record for the youngest pilot to circumnavigate the globe solo in a single engine aircraft – when he and the ‘Spirit of the Sapphire Coast’ lands back in Wollongong at approximately 9.30am on September 7.
The record is currently held by 21-year-old American Jack Weigand
For up to date information regarding Ryan Campbell’s altered flight path including new destinations at Jakarta and Broome click www.teenworldflight.com/the-route