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Beacon recovered after teen pilot's ocean crash

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (AP) - Officials in American Samoa on Monday recovered a personal locator beacon registered to an Indiana teen and his father who crashed off the U.S. territory last month as they attempted to fly around the world.

Haris Suleman, 17, died in the July 22 crash and his father, Babar Suleman, remains missing.

The beacon registered to the Sulemans was retrieved from a family in a shoreline village, American Samoa Department of Homeland Security Director Iuniasolua Savusa said Monday.

Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record

Local authorities got a call late Sunday from the U.S. Force Rescue Center in Florida that the beacon was transmitting GPS coordinates, Savusa said.

Police searched the shoreline and Homeland Security issued a bulletin Sunday night for help from the community.

Savusa said a young boy found the device and took it home.

"The minor child told his father that the device was with a black pack-bag which was badly torn and the only thing the youngster saw was an antenna sticking out of the pack-bag," Savusa said. "The youngster took only the device, which has the antenna. I now have the device in my possession."

Savusa said the police team went back to where the child found the device but did not find the bag.

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 also was a fundraiser to help build schools in his father's native Pakistan.

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Mike Jones August 04 2014 at 11:43 PM

Every few years a set of parents think it's a great idea for their kid to be the youngest pilot to fly around the world. He's not the first to die trying and he won't be the last. Flying a plane can be very unforgiving and for a teen pilot flying around the world, you may as well make the fuselage into the shape of a coffin with a picture of Darwin on the side. Eventually will we have 5 year olds trying it?

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telvis Mike Jones August 05 2014 at 7:29 AM

Remember Jessica Dubroff, she was 7 when her dad thought it was a good idea for her to fly across country just to set a record. 3 died in that plane crash.

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Truwriter August 05 2014 at 8:33 AM

The media always does its part and makes it seem like a good idea when some parent decides that their child should be the "first" this or that. And so often it ends in disaster. Its such a sad thing but for sure this young man had a lot to offer the world, had he lived, had his parents not decided that this stunt was worth the risk. Now its clear it was not worth the risk of his young life. When you see that someone is walking across America or rowing to England and "raising funds " for this or that, know that the money donated covers the expenses of the trip and what is left is donated. Its a clever way to have someone else pay for your adventure thinking that they are donating to some cause. The cause is funding the trip!

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tbmuch August 05 2014 at 6:42 AM

The price to fame, is very costly to some.

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welcome butch August 05 2014 at 7:37 AM


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pianomanjames August 05 2014 at 10:59 AM

beep beep beep

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mpheonix August 05 2014 at 3:14 PM

every teen thinks they can do anything in the world. It is the invulnerability of being young. The adults have the role of saying, No wait till you grow up. When the adult fails to maintain control over the child, then things like this happen.
The adult should have acted like one, and said no to this scjheme. They both would have been alive.

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HOKIE August 05 2014 at 4:53 PM

sooo sooorry

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GENE August 05 2014 at 5:35 PM

Bad idea! It's not my kid, but I wouldn't risk my life or lives for some fundraiser! Millions of other ways to achieve funding this project! Flying around the world in a single engine aircraft.....with a young inexperience pilot....a remedy for disaster! Cost the father and his son their lives.....don't make sense to me! Why didn't he sell his airplane to raise money? Not everyone can afford an airplane....so if the father had money, why didn't he spend it on his own personal crusade of building schools in Pakistan? Where was the mother/wife? She must not have shared their dangerous plight on this fundraiser journey!

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