Teenager heads for Kent in 'youngest pilot' record bid

Ryan Campell Ryan Campbell began his world record attempt in New South Wales on 30 June

A 19-year-old trying to become the youngest pilot to fly solo round the world in a single engine aircraft is making his only stop in England.

Australian Ryan Campbell is visiting 14 countries on five continents in his record bid, which began on 30 June.

He touched down at Lydd airport in Kent just before midday for a two-day stopover after flying from Wick.

The teenager is scheduled to return home on 7 September, after covering more than 24,000 nautical miles.

He said it was "awesome" to fly over the White Cliffs of Dover.

"You've watched all the World War Two movies so to get to fly over that it was worth all the effort and the time," he said.

The trip has 28 stopovers in countries including the USA, Canada, Iceland, France, Greece, Egypt, Oman, Sri Lanka and Indonesia.

Mr Campbell reached the half-way point in Reykjavik, Iceland on Saturday.

'Words of encouragement'

He said he was receiving a fantastic reception in each country and from thousands of people following him on Twitter and Facebook.

"It's great to hear words of encouragement from a whole host of people," he said.

"When you are faced with the unknown it's those words of wisdom that spur you on that little bit more."

He will fly the Cirrus SR22 aircraft to France on Thursday, with the trip ending where it began, in Wollongong, New South Wales.

Mr Campbell obtained his private pilot's licence just after his 17th birthday and qualified for his commercial pilot's licence in 2012, three months after turning 18.

The current holder of the world record is 21-year-old American Jack Weigand.

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