PLAINFIELD, Ind. - The plane of an Indiana father-son team attempting to fly around the world has crashed after taking off from American Samoa.
Babar Suleman and his 17-year-old son Haris, of Plainfield, were attempting to fly around the world in 30 days. Haris would have been the youngest pilot in command to complete the journey.
The Citizens Foundation-USA confirmed Haris’ body was discovered, but officials have not been able to find Babar’s body as of Wednesday evening.
Although the pair did not complete the trip, they had already raised $500,000 for The Citizens Foundation-USA, which funds schools and education programs for underprivileged children in Pakistan.
Danial Noorani, the CEO and director of TCF-USA released the following statement:
"We’re all kind of devastated. He was such a beautiful young man, even his father was full of life. They were really having a good time. A father-son bonding trip. We were all following them and following their trip, and we were getting ready to greet them and celebrate them. It just knocked the wind out of us. I can’t imagine what their wife and daughter were going through."
Noorani said the pair was traveling from Fiji to Hawaii via American Samoa when the plane crashed Tuesday evening.
Haris' sister, Hiba Suleman, posted the following to her Facebook page:
"Haris and my dad's plane went down upon take off in American Samoa. Haris has been found- he did not make it. My father has not yet been found. Please pray that my dad is found alive and well. Also, hug your siblings and parents- tell them you love them, a hundred time. A thousand times. It will never feel like it's been said quite often enough."
Hiba said the trip had been a dream of her father's for years. She said both her father and brother had undergone training in how to handle an ocean landing.
Haris blogged about his experience on social media throughout their journey:
The amount of support I've had from the different communities I'm a part of really makes me realize how fortunate I am for having all of you— Ur Captain Speakin' (@HarisPls) July 19, 2014
The beauty of Pago Pago! pic.twitter.com/1zTWFtj6fO— BonanzaBoi (@worldrounder) July 22, 2014
The pair left June 21 for the 25,500-mile, 17-country trip.
Their itinerary was listed on their blog:
Start: Indianapolis, IN
Biggin Hill, England
Mursah Matruh, Egypt
Al Ain, UAE
Pago Pago, American Samoa
Christmis Island, Kiribati
An official with the Plainfield Community School Corporation released the following statement:
"Plainfield Community School Corporation is deeply saddened to learn of the death of one of our students. Seventeen-year-old Haris Suleman completed his junior year in May and left Plainfield only days later in an attempt to fly around the world with his father. Haris' adventurous spirit and huge heart led him to reaching for this personal goal while also seeking to raise funds and awareness for schools supported by The Citizens Foundation, a non-profit organization headquartered in Karachi, Pakistan.
The loss of Haris is a sobering tragedy for our school community. We extend our heartfelt sympathy to Haris' family. We will provide information about memorial services and funeral arrangements once available."
Babar Suleman was involved in an incident in 2008 when he had to land his plane on Interstate 70.
Watch RTV6 and refresh this page for updates.
One killed in shooting on city's north side
One person was killed in a shooting on the city's north side Friday afternoon.
Man fatally shot on city's northeast side
Police were investigating after a man was fatally shot on the city's northeast side Thursday evening.
Viral 911 call serves as example to save lives
As a domestic violence victim's 911 call makes its way across the Internet, experts say her quick-thinking and creativity to relay danger to…
2 to be sentenced in clerk's killing
Two of three people connected to the robbery and murder of a gas station clerk will learn their punishment Friday.
Coalition considers listing public fund abusers
The Public Integrity Coalition, newly formed by the Indiana attorney general, is considering a way to connect local governments and…
LIVE: SpaceShipTwo crashes in Mojave Desert
Virgin Galactic has reported that SpaceShipTwo has crashed Friday morning during a test flight at Mojave Air and Spaceport.