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Friendship Flight : Tony Circles the Globe : Tony Flies Across Siberia Toward Soviet Far East

Associated Press

An 11-year-old San Juan Capistrano boy flying a single-engine plane around the world departed Yakutia in Soviet Siberia on Monday for the Far Eastern port of Okhotsk, Tass reported.

Tony Aliengena, his parents and their entourage received a warm welcome in Yakutia, capital of the Yakutian Autonomous Republic, where they visited a diamond-cleaning plant, attended a concert in their honor and watched a performance of the ancient Yakutian fairy tale, “Churumchuku,” the official Soviet news agency reported.

When the 47-day journey is completed, Tony will present a friendship scroll signed by Soviet youngsters to President Bush, who has agreed to meet the youngster at the end of his journey.

Tony began his global flight June 5 from California. His flight plan will take him 19,000 miles around the world.

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While flying in the Soviet Union, Tony has been accompanied by a Soviet navigator because air controllers on many domestic routes do not speak English, as required on international routes.

The youngster’s entourage includes a second twin-engine plane carrying a U.S. documentary film crew, a publicity agent, a 10-year-old Soviet pen pal, Soviet and American journalists and a world-record observer to verify his attempt to become the youngest person to circumnavigate the globe.


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