18-year-old Mason Andrews of Monroe is now the youngest person to fly solo around the globe in an airplane. The Louisiana Tech student took off from the Bayou State on July 22, and returned home October 6.
Andrews says the flight was taxing, but an incredible experience that gave him a birds-eye-view to some of the most jaw dropping sights on earth.
“The Pyramids of Giza were incredible, just seeing that. I flew over the Nile River, and the Rocky Mountains in Canada up in British Columbia, that was awesome. Most of the big natural landmarks of the world I flew over or near.”
Andrews flew solo in a single engine aircraft for his adventure.
The trip was supposed to take 40 days, but ended up lasting nearly double that as Andrews ran into two major stoppages that grounded the bird for over two weeks at a time. The Monroe teen even got stranded in India during Monsoon season.
“Got into really bad weather and my fuel gauges failed. I ultimately decided with the big weather diversion, that I would be better off landing just to be on the safe side as far as fuel consumption. So I landed in Nagpur, and the people were great.”
Andrews was even visited by a Taiwanese fighter after he veered to close to their airspace unannounced.
Andrews says the scariest part of his journey was over Saudi Arabia, where he had to be locked in during a dangerous bout of weather for nearly half a day.
“It was just terrible, it was ten hours long, severe turbulence, and I’m flying by hand. You couldn’t see anything from all the sand, it was just a massive sandstorm.”
Andrews made the flight to raise awareness for Louisiana MedCamps, and ended up raising 25,000 dollars for the special needs charity.