Taking on an around the world flight in your own personal aircraft may be a dream for many, but it has its challenges and hurdles, something to which American Robert DeLaurentis can attest. On May 18th, 2015 DeLaurentis began his quest to fly around the world in his Piper Malibu Mirage aircraft, N997MA, named the Spirit of San Diego. Currently (August 4th, 2005) he is in Noumea, New Caledonia, which is in the Pacific Ocean in the Coral Sea. His next planned stops are Pago Pago, Christmas Island, Hilo (in Hawaii) and on the San Diego. While he is in Hawaii I have no doubt that he will take the time to check out Solar Impulse 2 which will remain there until next spring.
The Unknown Unknowns
In the first two months of his planned three-month journey in his 1997 Piper PA-46 350P Malibu Mirage, DeLaurentis faced unpredictable weather, technical malfunction and other issues that he shared with his followers on social media platforms. After flying for only five years, reaching for his dream was a huge step for the businessman. “It has been more than I expected, much more challenging. I’ve flown in Europe before but once I got beyond Europe, things were very different. “It has also been much more rewarding. “I’ve been shown great amounts of kindness, generosity and blessings,” he said. DeLaurentis said people such as the members of EAA Malaysia Flying Club had been generous with their time and resources. “They helped me arrange accommodation, maintenance of the plane, doing all the handling and helping me through Customs and Immigration ... all kinds of things,” he said.
Charitable Causes Will Benefit
Besides creating an around-the-world solo flying record and sharing his experiences, DeLaurentis also uses publicity from his travels to help charitable causes. Not content to just achieve his own dream, DeLaurentis wants his flight to benefit the Charles A. Lindbergh-Alber E. Scwitzer Elementary School in San Diego, and also the AOPA (Aircraft Owners & Pilots Association) Flight Training Scholarship Program. The 49-year-old landowner keeps his blog at Flying Through Life and other social media accounts updated with the latest on his adventures, as well as tips on how to overcome challenges that one faces while traveling in a small plane.
Are You Ready?
If you want to attempt this in your own aircraft there is help available. You can use the services of a company like Air Journey to help with everything from planning to even joining a group flight around the world. Anyone who flies their own airplane knows the thrill of flight and the challenges of arriving at the destination safe, and one way to challenge yourself is with an around the world flight in your very own aircraft. Until next time keep your wings straight and level Hersch!