Teen Pilot Dies in Round-the-World Attempt

Indiana teen's father missing after crash

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 24, 2014 1:44 AM CDT

(Newser) – An Indiana teenager is dead and his father is missing after an attempt to set a world record ended in tragedy off the coast of American Samoa. Haris Suleman, 17, was trying to become the youngest person ever to pilot a single-engine plane around the world in under 30 days, reports the Indianapolis Star. Family members say Suleman crashed minutes after taking off Tuesday night on a flight bound for Honolulu. The Coast Guard located the wreckage and Haris' body, but the teen's father, Babar Suleman, is still missing.

Haris, who was due to arrive back in Indiana on Saturday, was trying to raise money for a nonprofit that builds schools in Pakistan, his sister tells CNN. "He was doing something that he loved," she says. "He was doing something adventurous." The family is holding out hope that the father survived the crash and will be located by search teams. Like his son, he had taken an open-water survival course before the round-the-world journey and was wearing an ocean survival suit equipped with a locator beacon.

In this Thursday, June 19, 2014 photo, Babar Suleman and son Haris Suleman, 17, take off from an airport in Greenwood, Ind. for an around-the-world flight.
In this Thursday, June 19, 2014 photo, Babar Suleman and son Haris Suleman, 17, take off from an airport in Greenwood, Ind. for an around-the-world flight.   (AP Photo/The Indianapolis Star, Robert Scheer)
In this Thursday, June 19, 2014 photo, Babar Suleman and son Haris Suleman, 17, stand next to their plane at an airport in Greenwood, Ind. before taking off for an around-the-world flight.
In this Thursday, June 19, 2014 photo, Babar Suleman and son Haris Suleman, 17, stand next to their plane at an airport in Greenwood, Ind. before taking off for an around-the-world flight.   (AP Photo/The Indianapolis Star, Robert Scheer)
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