Teen’s world flight bid ends in tragedy

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iol pic wld Teen Pilot-Crash~1 Associated Press Babar Suleman and his Haris, 17, stand next to their plane at an airport in Greenwood before taking off on their round-the-world flight. Picture: Robert Scheer, The Indianapolis Star

Chicago - A teenager from Plainfield, Indiana, who was trying to fly around the world in 30 days, is dead and his father is missing after their small plane crashed on Tuesday night near American Samoa, an official told Reuters on Wednesday.

Haris Suleman, 17, and his father Babar were attempting a flight around the globe in a single-engine plane to raise funds for schools in Pakistan, according to a website where followers could track their progress.

They left Indianapolis in their Beech A36 Bonanza on June 19 and aimed to return on July 26, the website said.

The airplane took off at 9.58pm local time on Tuesday and crashed in the ocean at 10.15pm in good weather, said Iuniasolua Savusa, director of Homeland Security for American Samoa.

He said Haris's body had been recovered and that marine patrol and port authorities were searching for the remains of the plane and for Babar Suleman.

On her Facebook page, Haris's sister Hiba Suleman, thanked friends and family for their support.

“Please pray that my dad is found alive and well,” she wrote. - Reuters

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