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Young Pilot’s Transatlantic Flight Held Up By Electrical Problem

July 11, 1988

MONTREAL (AP) _ An 11-year-old who is trying become the world’s youngest transatlantic pilot had to postpone his dream Sunday when a voltage regulator on his plane started acting up.

Christopher Lee Marshall, who wants to emulate Charles Lindbergh’s 1927 flight to Paris, arrived in Montreal from New York City on Saturday aboard his Mooney 252 two-seater.

The young aviator from Oceana, Calif., was scheduled to fly to Greenland Sunday, then stop in Iceland before arriving in Paris on Wednesday. He began his trip Thursday in San Diego.

But Chris’ co-pilot, Randy (Duke) Cunningham, flew the plane to Danbury, Conn., Sunday to have the voltage meter repaired. The two hope to resume the flight Monday.

Chris, who will be a fifth grader this fall, first took the controls of a plane at age 4 and began flying with an instructor at 7. He is the son of a commercial pilot.

Last year, Chris became the youngest pilot to cross the United States. Tony Aliengena, a 9-year-old from San Juan Capistrano, Calif., broke the record in April by making a California-to-Massachusetts round trip.

Cunningham, 46, a retired commander at Miramar Naval Air Station, Calif., and a Vietnam war pilot, sits in the pilot’s seat. But he says Chris has done all the flying.

Cunningham limits the boy’s flying time to less than eight hours at a stretch.

Chris has said this trip will make him the world’s youngest transatlantic pilot. His next goal is to become the youngest pilot to fly around the world.

Lindbergh flew from San Diego to St. Louis, then to New York City before completing his 33 1/2 -hour, non-stop solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean to Paris in 1927.

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