Community mourns death of Haris Suleman

PLAINFIELD, Ind. (WISH) – The Plainfield school district is in mourning following the death of student Haris Suleman.

“This is a huge blow, not only to our community, but to our school. Haris was a very well respected student in our building and very active,” said Mel Seifert, Principal of Plainfield High School.

Suleman was killed Tuesday when the plane he was piloting went down over the Pacific Ocean off the Coast of American Samoa. He was on an around-the-world trip with his father, Babar Suleman. The Coast Guard is still searching for the elder Suleman, though they found some wreckage of the plane Wednesday night.

“He’s a very driven student. He accepted this challenge and was looking forward to it, and spending time with his dad,” Seifert said.

17-year-old Haris Suleman set out to complete the fastest trip around the world in a single-engine plane with the youngest pilot in command.

The Sulemans were expected back in Indiana on Saturday.

The plane went down on its way to Hawaii. Tragically it was the next leg of the trip from Hawaii to the mainland that Haris told 24-Hour News 8’s Dick Wolfsie he was most concerned about.

“Psychologically I can handle 9 hours [in flight] but we’ll see about the Hawaii trip. That will be interesting,” Suleman said.

Haris’ brother is headed to the hospital in American Samoa to retrieve his brother’s remains.

Meanwhile school in Plainfield begins on August 6th and the principal told 24-Hour News 8 they will have grief counselors available for those who need assistance. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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