Youngest Pilot to Circumnavigate the World Solo
In 2013, at age 19, Ryan Campbell broke the world record for the youngest pilot in history and the first teenager to circumnavigate the globe solo in a single engine aircraft.
Just two years later, the young Australian’s world changed in an instant. While piloting a vintage biplane, Ryan suffered a mechanical failure that left him paralysed.
Ryan’s story of how he has defied the odds to walk and fly again is truly inspirational. It’s a story of the highest of highs and the lowest of lows and how determination and courage can drive success.
More about Ryan Campbell:
Ryan Campbell was born to fly, with a passion for aviation running deep in his family. At only six, on his first commercial flight, he knew what we wanted to do for the rest of his life. He could fly a plane before he could drive a car and at 15 Ryan became the youngest pilot in Australia, at 18 he had a commercial pilot’s licence and a little over a year after that he made international headlines.
In June 2013, just 19 years old, Ryan set off from Wollongong in NSW in a bid to become the youngest pilot – and first teenager – in history to circumnavigate the world solo in a single engine aircraft.
Seventy days later, on 8 September 2013, after stopping 34 times in 15 countries and covering more than 24,000 nautical miles, Ryan’s Teen World Flight became a reality. After two years of planning, fundraising and intense training, he had achieved his dream of flying around the globe and became Australia’s latest world record holder.
Ryan’s world flight and passion to inspire young kids to pursue aviation not only led to Australia wide speaking engagements but also to a book deal. As a published author by age 20 Ryan continued to inspire others around him.
In October 2013, Ryan Campbell was named Australian Geographic’s Young Adventurer of the Year. However, in 2015, Ryan suffered a horrendous accident when the vintage biplane he was piloting failed. Paralysed completely from the waist down and with various other severe injuries Ryan began what would be the hardest journey of all – learning to walk again.
Ryan beat the odds and found himself back on his feet. Having learnt to walk again, Ryan set about obtaining his aviation medical and is now airborne again in fixed wing aircraft. He is and currently completing his helicopter training.
Ryan Campbell is a truly remarkable young man and a brilliant key note speaker. His ability to regale people from all walks of life with his stories of perseverance, fear, planning, teamwork and the spirit of adventure make him a must see.