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Content - Young Swiss pilot on his way to a world record

  • August 21, 2012

Young Swiss pilot on his way to a world record

Tokyo (SCCIJ) – The Swiss pilot Carlo Schmid is following in the footsteps of the famous Jules Verne character Phileas Fogg. Using a small motorized aircraft, the 22-year-old from Kloten near Zurich is currently attempting to fly around the world in 80 days as the youngest pilot ever. After more than 50 hours of solo flight time the Swiss made a brief stopover in Osaka. Schmid is collecting money for UNICEF on his trip around the world. He has already admitted that the whole experience is like attending a “school of life”.

Start in early July

Besides his stopover in Osaka, Schmid plans to land in 43 airports in 21 countries in Europe, Asia and North America. Within 100 flight hours his plane will cover a route of 40,000 kilometers. Starting day was July 11, while the last leg is supposed to be completed on September 29 in Dubendorf, Switzerland. The donations cover the project costs of CHF 500,000 and support a development project for Indian girls.

The Fascination of Flying

Originally born in Thalwil on 25 January 1990, Carlo Schmid grew up living in the shadow of Europe's most central international airport, Zurich Kloten. Young Carlo spent many hours watching the planes depart and land through the airfield fence.  

However, it was his father who helped nurture his interest in flying. He would take Carlo along to the airfield with him to watch the pilots land come hail or storm. In 2001 his father took a glider aviation course, after which it was inevitable for him to take Carlo along.  

Pure joy

It all started when flight teacher Max Morf gave Carlo his first flying lesson. The boy was immediately infected with the love of flying. When questioned what it felt like, Carlo always replied: “Glorious sunshine, dizzying heights. Being up there is pure joy!”  

His first real achievement was at the age of 15, when he started his flight career with the gliding club Winterthur at the required minimum age. One year later, he passed the glider pilot exam and shortly afterwards he attained the license to perform glider flights with passengers.  

Quick private pilot license

Later that year, Carlo passed the exam for the private pilot license and qualified in two more types of aircraft: the Cessna 172 and the Cessna Thielert Centurion Turbo (a diesel aircraft). He continued with a training course concerning the Super Dimona.  

His mother and father are both employed in the banking industry, as are his younger brothers Klemens (20) and Lukas (15). No wonder that Carlo graduated as a certified bank clerk in 2006 at the age of 19. He continued his vocational education until the beginning of 2012.  

Early death of mother

Without a doubt, his mother had the greatest influence on Carlos professional choices and his personal development. “Her iron will and her endurance inspired and motivated me”, explains Schmid. “She had such a unique character.”  

Because his mother had been afraid of flying, on her first flight with her son she initially had trouble trusting his abilities to pilot the aircraft. However, her opinion changed as soon as they were in the air: She described it was as so wonderful that she never wanted to land again.  

Hot competition

Sadly, she passed away due to cancer in August 2010: After her death, Carlo needed a time out in order to figure out what he really wanted to achieve in life. This break led to a decision in favor of his round-the-world-trip, an idea, which had been in the back of his mind ever since he finished his pilot training.  

The standard is set by the achievements of current world-record holder Irving Barrington from the United States. He managed to fly around the world at the age of 23 in 2007. Since 1929 only 87 pilots have managed to successfully fly around the world.  

 

Photos: Airplane of Carlo Schmid at the take-off on July 11, the pilot himself (www.rtw2012.com)          

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