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Michael Gougeon, Teen Pilot, Hopes To Break Solo Cross-Country Record

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Cross Canada Solo Challenge
Cross Canada Solo Challenge

At 16, most teens are just learning to drive. But Michael Gougeon from Ontario, Canada has his sights set on something a little more difficult: This Friday, he will attempt to fly solo across Canada from coast to coast in an amphibious aircraft. If he succeeds, he will be the youngest person ever to do so.

"As a kid, who doesn't think about breaking world records, right?" he told the Herald News.

Gougeon plans to leave from Tofino, British Columbia on July 13 in a Cessna 182 to fly through the Rockies, across the Prairies, over thousands of lakes across Northern Ontario, and finally touch down in Halifax, Nova Scotia about a week later. He estimates the trip will take about 25 hours of air time total, and plans to tackle the journey in three-hour increments.

The nearly 3,000-mile trip is dependent on weather. "I can't fly without visual reference to the ground," he told "Weather could potentially be a big problem and that is really a challenge because that makes it really hard to estimate how many days it will take."

The teen pilot began to fly alongside his father when he was just seven years old. This week, his father will be flying the journey in a nearby plane. He told the Globe and Mail, "I think the fact that my dad will be alongside has made [my parents] a lot more comfortable."

Another cross-country pilot, Kimberly Anyadike, was just 15 when she became the first African-American female to fly across America; this year, she's one of five finalists in Seventeen's "Pretty Amazing" contest. And while he didn't break any records, teen pilot Mitchell Roberts used his flying skills to make a big impact -- he asked his girlfriend to prom while in mid-air.

Would you ever want to fly a plane? Are you impressed by Gougeon's feat? Sound off in the comments below or tell us on Twitter at @HuffPostTeen!

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