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Teenager's big solo flight around Australia for charity sets world record

Donna Coutts, June 17, 2019 7:15PM Kids News

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Pilot Solomon Cameron at Bendigo Airport with his plane before he departed. media_cameraPilot Solomon Cameron at Bendigo Airport with his plane before he departed.

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Teenage pilot Solomon Cameron has touched down from his solo flight around Australia, setting a world record before getting straight back to school.

Solomon’s solo circumnavigation* took him from his home at Bendigo, Victoria, anticlockwise 15,000km around Australia over nearly seven weeks.

He is the youngest person ever to fly solo around Australia.

In fact, though the Year 10 student can fly a plane, he is so young he isn’t even allowed to drive a car.

His flight is helping to raise money for Angel Flight, a charity that helps people in remote areas access specialist medical treatment.

Kids News spoke to Solomon on Monday as he was on his way home from his first day back at school.

It was the first time he’d seen any of his friends as he only arrived back on Saturday.

“Everyone had a fair few questions,” Solomon said. “They wanted to know what it was like, the places I liked. They were all pretty interested.”

Being on his own for seven weeks, away from friends and family, helped him gain confidence meeting new people.

“Staying with people every night took away the isolation* but you don’t really have to meet new people by yourself when you have your parents by your side. (Doing this trip) you get independent skills.”

Solomon Cameron in front of his plane. Picture: Facebook media_cameraSolomon Cameron in front of his plane. Picture: Facebook

He believes the most important things he learnt on the trip were problem-solving skills.

“When you’re in the middle of nowhere and the engine’s not wanting to start you have to start problem solving.”

In one remote spot in Western Australia, with a population of just two, his engine wouldn’t start and he had to figure out how to get it going again, which he did, before continuing his journey.

xfkjg hafdglkj afdglkj hfdagkj g media_cameraThis is the map of Solomon’s flight, showing the codes for airports along the way. You can see YBDG with a red aeroplane symbol on it near the bottom, which is the international code for Bendigo airport. Picture: solomanaroundaustralia.com

Solomon’s dad, Andrew Cameron, also a pilot, said lots of people have asked him if he is proud of his son.

“I’d say we are more in awe about what he’s done.”

Mr Cameron said the work Solomon put into preparing for the trip was much bigger and more challenging than the trip itself.

“The trip was the icing on top,” he said.

VIDEO: Solomon flying past the Gold Coast, Queensland

Solomon touches down after world-record flight

Solomon’s plan now is to work hard at school to help him in his dream of becoming a commercial* pilot after he finishes Year 12.

He said he didn’t start out planning to fly solo around Australia and set a world record while he was at it. He started out simply aspiring* to be a pilot and moved one step at a time towards completing this circumnavigation.

He encourages anyone who has a dream of achieving something big to go for it.

“Everyone should follow their passions. With a big effort you can do it. It may seem hard to get to but just take one small step at a time.”

Solomon doesn’t yet know how much his flight has raised for Angel Flight. It’s still possible to donate. Find out more at solomanaroundaustralia.com

The view from the cockpit of Cape York, the northernmost tip of mainland Australia. Picture: Solomon Cameron/Facebook media_cameraThe view from the cockpit of the aeroplane of Cape York, Qld, the northernmost tip of mainland Australia. Picture: Solomon Cameron/Facebook

GLOSSARY

  • circumnavigation: going all the way around the edge
  • isolation: being or feeling like you’re alone
  • commercial: for a job, taking passengers
  • aspiring: dreaming of doing something

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QUICK QUIZ

  1. What record has he set?
  2. How many people lived in the town in Western Australia where his plane wouldn’t start?
  3. What did Solomon’s dad say he felt rather than just proud?
  4. What does Solomon want to do when he leaves school?
  5. How much money has Solomon raised?

LISTEN TO THIS STORY

CLASSROOM ACTIVITIES
1. Flying Solo
Although Solomon took seven weeks off school to complete this record-breaking flight, Solomon said he learnt a lot about being independent and this trip has changed him as a person.

Compare the learning Solomon might have been doing at school, against what things he may have learnt flying an aircraft solo around Australia at just 15 years of age.

To record your ideas, draw up a table, with CLASSROOM LEARNING at the top of one column and REAL-LIFE LEARNING on top of the other column.

Time: allow 20 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum Links: English, Critical and Creative Thinking

2. Extension
Solomon said the trip helped hin learn valuable problem-solving skills. What do you think he means by this? What problem solving skills could you need for any possibility? Do you think if you had his training and experience you would cope with the responsibility of flying an aircraft alone around Australia for seven weeks?

Time: allow 10 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum Links: English, Critical and Creative Thinking

VCOP ACTIVITY
With a partner see if you can identify all the doing words/verbs in this text. Highlight them in yellow and then make a list of them all down your page. Now see if you and your partner can come up with a synonym for the chosen verb. Make sure it still makes sense in the context it was taken from.

Try to replace some of the original verbs with your synonyms and discuss if any are better and why.

HAVE YOUR SAY: Would you like to fly a plane? Why or why not?
No one-word answers. Use full sentences to explain your thinking. No comments will be published until approved by editors.

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