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Boy Pilot Rests After Arriving In Iceland’s Midnight Sun

June 17, 1989

REYKJAVIK, Iceland (AP) _ An 11-year-old American hoping to become the youngest person to fly around the world arrived here Saturday and said he wanted to do some fishing before flying on to Norway.

Tony Aliengena and his family, from San Juan Capistrano in Southern California, also planned to take part in festivities celebrating the 45th anniversary of Iceland’s independence from Denmark.

Tony is flying a single-engine Cessna 210 Centurion turboprop plane with his father, Gary Aliengena, at his side.

An escort plane is carrying his mother, Susan Aliengena, his 10-year-old sister Alaina; his Soviet pen pal, Roman Tcheremnykh; and Soviet and American journalists.

″His landings just keep on improving,″ Mrs. Aliengena said as she watched her son bring down his plane on Saturday.

Aliengena, a real estate developer and devoted pilot, began teaching his son to fly at age 4, at first holding the boy on his lap.

″I’m tired and I’m really glad to be here as this is one of the longest legs of the trip,″ Tony said as he got out of his plane after the five-hour flight from Sondre Stromfjord, Greenland.

The family set out June 5 from John Wayne Airport at Costa Mesa, Calif.

They planned to leave Iceland for Norway on Sunday to continue the 19,000- mile trip, dubbed Friendship Flight ’89. From there they fly to Sweden, the Soviet Union and onward to Alaska and home.

Tony is carrying letters from American schoolchildren to their Soviet peers and an 800-foot ″friendship scroll″ signed by about 200,000 American youngsters that he plans to present to Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev in Moscow.

″Gorbachev will be meeting us so long as nothing happens,″ Mrs. Aliengena said.

Tony became the youngest person to fly across the United States in April 1988.

An escort plane carrying a Soviet journalist and a documentary film crew was forced to turn back to Greenland on Friday evening because of a malfunction.