"When you have a dream, you've got to grab it and never let go." ~ Carol Burnett
Travis had already achieved flying success when he became the youngest person, in the UK, to fly a glider solo on his 14th birthday. Even then, on that cold morning in February 2016, he was thinking of the bigger dream… to fly around the world at 17. Unfortunately, due the Covid pandemic, Travis was not able to take-off as planned, in fact he had to wait another whole year but he never gave up hope. Travis went on to beat the world record in just 43 days, becoming the fastest around the world pilot out of all the previous record breaking young pilots.
Every kid has a passion for something, for some it's tanks, trains or tractors, then as they become teenagers, it's computer games, racing cars or football (or all three); for Travis, it was always aeroplanes. Travis's love of flying started when he was four years old, never going to sleep without reading something from his stack of airplane magazines by his bed. Since then he has watched every program on TV and YouTube to do with flying and can tell you, in detail, the cause of every accident in every episode of 'Air Crash Investigators'… seriously, if you ever meet him, ask him
Travis had his first gliding lesson at the age of 12 and throughout his glider and PPL training he was often described by his instructors as a natural pilot. Starting his PPL at 15, travis had already passed his PPL exams before flying solo, the day after his 16th birthday. Travis went on to completed his Private Pilot’s Licence (PPL) that summer nearly six months before he could legally have a pilot’s licence.
But it wasn’t just Travis’s success in flying that saw him secure a quarter of a million dollars in sponsorship, half of which was raised even before he had a plane, or a pilot’s licence. Travis has a long history in achieving what he sets out to do, it is not just his early flying success that shows that he is a very dedicated young man, who sets out to achieve whatever he starts.
He started kickboxing at the age of five and received his black belt seven years later. This early commitment saw him go on to win nine British Kickboxing Championships, from four different governing bodies, over the next two years. In fact, Travis was due to go to the WAKO World Championships in 2019 but he chose instead to concentrate on his flying, and his world record flight.
Another fun example of his resolve and determination to succeed in the task ahead, was when his Dad bought him an old unicycle, when he was 14. Travis taught himself to ride it in three days, then went on to do the Henley Triathlon on it six months later. It is no surprise that the event had never had a unicycle enter before.
Although Travis’ was disappointed that his world record flight was delayed by Covid in 2020, he succeeded in completing his world record flight in 2021 with just two weeks to spare. His 43-day journey was the fastest around the world flight by any other young pilot, while flying the slowest aircraft.
Travis flew a total of 26,759-miles, flying an average of seven and a half hours a day, making 63 stops in 16 countries and visiting four continents. He had ample time to ponder what to do with his life and what is important. His world record flight did not just opened his young eyes to the different people and their different cultures that he met along the way but he learnt about his own vulnerability and that of the beautiful planet he was circumnavigating.
Travis is passionate speaker, determined to help others believe in themselves, to explain how important it is to never giving up and the importance of dreams. He has shown that anything is possible and explains how to removing the hurdles that often stifle ideas before they can flourish, so that his audience can build on their own skills, knowledge, confidence and dreams.
Understandably his passion now also involved the planet. After seeing the wonderful sights in parts of the world many people never get to see, he now talks about how important it is to find a way to work towards a brighter future for our planet and more sustainable future for aviation.
While in New York doing his Ted Talk, Travis met with a representative from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and was offered a sizable scholarship. Travis started his Freshman year in the fall of 2022 and is studying Electrical Engineering, His future plans include being at the forefront of electrical aviation while carrying on his speaking engagements.
And he is still dreaming! His new dream is to be the first to fly around the world in an electric aircraft in 2026.