Tails of awesome: Teen plans around-the-world flight

January 30, 2014

AOPA AV8RS

Ever since Logan Gray can remember, he’s watched airplanes fly over his home. And for just as long, he’s wanted to pilot one of those planes.

So it should be no surprise that Logan, 16, already has 65-plus hours in the air. But what might be surprising is that Logan and his former flight instructor, Jacob Goering, 26, are planning an around-the-world flight that will make Logan the youngest circumnavigator of the Earth’s equator.

A sophomore at Southwestern High School in Jefferson County, Indiana, Logan said he started taking flying lessons right after sixth grade. Goering was his first flight instructor.

Logan and Goering started planning for the round-the-world trip nearly two years ago, with hopes to make the flight in 2013. But that date has been moved back to July 2014 to allow more time for fundraising. Logan estimates the trip will cost $100,000 — $50,000 for a Piper Comanche his parents purchased in March 2012, and $50,000 for the actual flight. About $21,000 of the trip cost will be for fuel.

Logan, who will solo soon, said he also hopes that he will have earned his IFR rating by then, since more than 75 percent of the flight will be done with instruments.

“Safety must be our No. 1 goal,” he said. “But another part of my goal is to show other youth that flying is something they can do.” The two have called their adventure Flight for the Future. “We are big on youth being able to do big things,” Logan said. “We want to inspire other people to look at aviation and see that it offers tons of different career paths.”

Logan said it’s too early to determine their final route since that will depend, in part, on the world situation. But he would like to follow the route that his current instructor, Jim Pirtle, took in 1986.

Click here to learn more about their flight.