Haris Suleman, 17, and his father Babar were trying to make history.
The pair hoped to fly around the world in 30 days in a single-engine plane. If successful, Haris would become the youngest person ever to fly around the world.
The pair embarked from the United States, where the Sulemans lived in Plainfield, Indiana and planned to go to Canada before going to Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia before finishing in California.
However, the pair crashed in the American Samoa just after taking off from Pago Pago–the crash happened about a mile from the end of the runway, reported Fox.
The body of Haris has been recovered from the site. He had been flying for almost a decade.
Plainfield Schools, at which Haris was to be a senior, said in a statement that “Haris’s adventurous spirit and huge heart led him to reaching for this personal goal while also seeking to raise funds and awareness for schools supported by The Citizens Foundation, a non-profit organization headquartered in Karachi, Pakistan.”
The Sulemans next to their plane. (GoFundMe)
His younger sister Hiba Suleman said via Facebook to her friends and family members:
“Before the news breaks, I’d like to thank everyone for their support of my father and brother throughout this trip, as well as for the support given to my mom, brother and myself as we waited for their safe return. Haris and my dad’s plane went down upon take off in American Samoa. Haris has been found–he did not make it. My father has not yet been found.”
“Please pray that my dad is found alive and well. Also, hug your siblings and parents–tell them you love them, a hundred time. A thousand times. It will never feel like it’s been said quite often enough,” she added.
At the time of the crash, the Sulemans were actually nearing the end of the journey, only having several more stops to go.