18-year Old Pilot Around The World. Through Russia
18-year-old Mason Andrews decided to travel around the world alone to try to set a new world record. Now he has successfully completed his journey, safely arriving back to Louisiana on October 6th, 2018. He has flown his Piper P32, which bears a proud name “Spirit of Louisiana” and is 25 years older than the pilot.
Mason's route initially was not supposed to pass over our country due to presumed (but not actual) difficulties with obtaining permits and uncertainty about the fuel. An extremely unsafe situation could have happened if everything had gone according to the original plan - a route through Japan to USA with only stop on the Aleutian Islands. That should have been 18 hours of solo flight of 18 year old captain.
“At that moment, Evgeny from MAK General Aviation Services contacted us”, recalls Mason’s father Jeb Andrews, “and I sincerely thank him for that, perhaps he saved my son’s life. Evgeny said that he could get proper permits to fly through Russia and so needed avgas. And that is after many others have told us that this is impossible to do”.
At Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk airport, Mason was warmly welcomed and taken care of, he really enjoyed his brief visit to this city and next day to Magadan where he also landed and spent a night. Mason recalls that people were amazing, and he would even like to go back there again to spend more time. One of air traffic controllers who controlled him on the way from Magadan to Nome even became friends with him on Instagram.
Due to many weather delays en route Mason had to apply for Russian visa twice and his Russian CAA permit was amended six (!) times. Initially only one fuel and overnight stop in Russia in Magadan UHMM turned out to be two stops - in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk UHSS and Magadan UHMM. Thanks to such flexibility in Russian airspace Mason avoided numerous and exhausting permit rearrangements in Japan and two fuel stops in Japan were skipped since they were not needed anymore.
Mason’s world tour mission was not only in a new world record attempt. He dedicated his flight to fundraising for the MedCamp summer camp, which cures children with a variety of diseases for free. The brave young pilot raised for MedCamp about 26 thousand dollars in donations.
Mason's route was finally passing from Naha in Japan (ROAH) via Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk (UHSS) and Magadan (UHMM) to Nome, Alaska (PAOM).
We wish Mason to be a new world record holder and become the youngest pilot to circumnavigate the world solo!
MAK General Aviation Services provides support to numerous round the world travelers and pilots from other countries in flying over the territory of Russia.