Plane of father and son crashes during world-spanning flight; son’s body recovered

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(July 23, 2014) – The plane of a father and son who planned to fly around the world has crashed, family friends tell FOX59.

Babar Suleman and his 17-year-old son Haris took off last month on a world-spanning journey to raise money for charity. They’d planned to spend 30 days flying to cities around the world including London and Istanbul.

Their aircraft went down just after takeoff from Pago Pago in American Samoa. The crash happened about a mile away from the end of the runway and the plane went into the water.

Friends said crews recovered the body of Haris, who was going to be a senior at Plainfield High School. His father is still considered missing and crews have not yet found him.

Friends tell FOX59 that the plane did send a distress call.

The Citizens Foundation released the following statement:

“It is with great sadness that we confirm that a Beechcraft aircraft flown by Baber Suleman and his son Haris, from Plainfield, Indiana, has crashed into the ocean near American Samoa. Haris’s body has been recovered. His father has not yet been found. They were on the final leg of an inspiring journey around the world in 30 days to raise funds for The Citizens Foundation. Their goal was to raise $1 million and two donors had already offered to give enough money to build two schools.”

“We ask that the family’s privacy is respected at this very difficult time.”

Plainfield Schools released the following statement to Fox59:

“Plainfield Community School Corporation is deeply saddened to learn of the death of one of our students. Seventeen-year-old Haris Suleman completed his junior year in May and left Plainfield only days later in an attempt to fly around the world with his father. Haris’s adventurous spirit and huge heart led him to reaching for this personal goal while also seeking to raise funds and awareness for schools supported by The Citizens Foundation, a non-profit organization headquartered in Karachi, Pakistan. ”

“The loss of Haris is a sobering tragedy for our school community. We extend our heartfelt sympathy to Haris’s family. We will provide information about memorial services and funeral arrangements once available. Thank you for your concern at this difficult time.”