An 11-year-old California boy has become the youngest pilot to cross the Atlantic, landing Thursday at the Paris airport where Charles Lindbergh completed a historic solo crossing in 1927.
Christopher Lee Marshall touched down his single-engine plane at Le Bourget airport on a flight from Glasgow, Scotland, where he spent the night.The boy aviator was greeted by his mother as he stepped from the plane wearing a bright blue flight suit and a baseball cap with a sign reading "Chris Marshall Tour."
"We're finally here. We made it," he said, grinning ear-to-ear but looking tired.
"Mommy missed you so much. Give me a kiss," said his mother, Gail Marshall, who waved an American flag and clutched a stuffed bear intended as a present for her son.
The young aviator from Oceano, Calif., then kissed his mother.
Christopher started his flight in San Diego on July 7. He was accompanied by retired Navy pilot Randy Cunningham, 46, who limited Marshall's flying time to eight-hour stretches.
A champagne and cola reception was held in the hangar of the airport, north of Paris.
Despite the trans-Atlantic venture, which included stops in St. Louis, New York, Montreal, Greenland, Iceland and Scotland, Christopher revealed his youth.
On stepping from the plane, his first words to his mother were: "I have to go to the toilet." He disappeared briefly then returned to pose for photographers.
At one point, Christopher re-entered the aircraft to produce his old stuffed bear, from which he has said he is inseparable.