Speed Reads

sad news

Teenage pilot trying to set world record dies in crash

The plane carrying an Indiana father and son attempting to fly around the world for charity crashed in the Pacific Ocean Tuesday night near the Pago Pago International Airport in American Samoa.

The family of Haris and Babar Suleman confirmed on Wednesday that 17-year-old Haris died in the crash, The Associated Press reports. Divers are still looking for Babar, 58, and daughter Hiba Suleman said the family is hopeful he is still alive. She added that before departing on their trip, both Haris and Babar had undergone training to learn what to do if the plane landed in the ocean.

The pair took off from Plainfield, Indiana, on June 21, planning to go 25,000 miles around the world with stops in London, Istanbul, Hawaii, California, Egypt, and Pakistan, where they attended a family reunion. A press release from the Citizens Foundation stated that the Sulemans intended to raise money and awareness for Seeds of Learning, a program within the Citizens Foundation that helps poor children around the world attend school. They had already raised close to $500,000, almost enough to build three schools.

The father and son had flown together since Haris was 8 years old, and Haris was scheduled to pilot the plane during the journey. He would have been the youngest person in history to circumnavigate the world in a single-engine airplane.