As some of you experienced pilots have mentioned, the crash was probably fuel weight related. Note the flight was going from American Samoa to Hawaii (over 2,200 miles) and this was so far the longest leg of the trip. The plane would have been loaded with fuel probably higher than ever before- and they had just taken off then crashed.
Here is Matt's web site:
About | Limitless Horizons
Itinerary | Limitless Horizons
Ok I am mistaken, Matt did finish the flight:
Matt Guthmiller, 19, Is Youngest Person to Fly Solo Around World
Looks to have had the same plane model and route as the crashed plane flown by Haris Suleman.
Haris Suleman’s plane didn’t show distress: witness
Published 3 days ago‹ ›
File Photo AP
PAGO PAGO (United States): A man who saw the plane flown by Haris Suleman seconds before it crashed and killed the boy and his father during an around-the-world flight attempt said the aircraft was flying low but didn’t show any obvious signs of distress before diving into the ocean off American Samoa.
Bert Thompson of Matuu, American Samoa, said on Thursday he saw no fire, explosions or emergency lighting on the plane carrying 17-year-old Haris Suleman and his father, 58-year-old Pakistani-born Babar Suleman.
“It just went down, dived into the ocean,” said Mr Thompson, who saw the plane while sitting at a bus stop in his shoreline village. Haris Suleman’s body was recovered shortly after Tuesday’s crash. Crews were still searching for his father.
Mr Thompson said he didn’t see the plane hit the water because it was too far offshore and too dark, with no moon in the sky. Anguished family members and friends pleaded for more resources on Thursday in hopes of finding Babar Suleman. “Time is of the essence,” family friend Azher Khan said at a news conference outside the family’s home. “Babar is a fighter, and I know that he’s over there clinging to hope, hoping that someone will come for rescue.”
Haris Suleman knew risks of around-the-world journey: family
The US Coast Guard said on Thursday it had found wreckage from the plane, which crashed shortly after taking off from Pago Pago, American Samoa.
A pilot spotted sections of the plane’s fuselage and other aircraft components on Wednesday night, spokesman Gene Maestas said, and ships later recovered some of that debris.
Divers searching for Babar Suleman went to the last known location of the plane’s distress signal but found the 100-metre water too deep, said American Samoa Homeland Security Department Director Iuniasolua Savusa.
“It’s beyond their capabilities at this point,” the director said. “So right now, we are doing all we can to deploy methods we have on island.”
That includes casting a net to the bottom of the ocean and dragging it to see if it captures any wreckage.
Haris Suleman had hoped to set the record for the fastest circumnavigation around the world in a single-engine airplane with the youngest pilot in command. His journey was also a fund-raiser to help build schools in Pakistan. Babar Suleman had long dreamed of flying around the world. The Sulemans left the United States on June 19 and had been expected to arrive back on Saturday.
Family and friends defended the father-son team and their mission, saying they had known the dangers when they set out and had trained for them.
Published in Dawn, July 26th, 2014