Before I even earned my pilot’s license back in 2005, I had dreams of making three epic flights. The first, to fly coast to coast across the USA, was completed in 2007. I was lucky enough to carry out the second, to fly from Europe to the southern tip of Africa, in 2013 on the “Flight for Every Mother“. A flight around the world is in many ways an even bigger challenge to organise but is finally under way.
Departing from Pittsburgh, the route takes me across the Atlantic to the UK and Europe, through the Middle East and India into Southeast Asia, onward to Australia and New Zealand and then across the Pacific to the USA to complete the circle.
While the flight is self-funded, and the reason behind it is my long term dream, a flight like this offers certain opportunities for publicity. I am using these opportunities to raise awareness of, and raise money for, the charity African Promise. This charity is dedicated to the promotion of education in rural Kenya, working to rebuild primary schools, funding the salaries of teachers, providing school lunches for the children who attend, and other work that makes a real difference to the long term well-being of the area.
Click here to donate to African Promise.
The flight is grateful for the support provided by the following companies and organisations.
General Aviation Support Egypt (GASE) are a flight support company, originally founded in Cairo to assist pilots flying through Egypt. Now based out of the UK and Dubai, they provide top quality, great value flight support to general aviation flights all around the world.
GASE offer all kinds of flight support services including provision of overflight and landing permits, arrangement of handling, fuel, and accommodation, and even in-flight real time support with weather data, and a whole host more. Run by Eddie and Ahmed, I have worked with them on several adventurous flights in the past, and this will be our biggest yet!
MiraCheck, the voice-controlled checklist app for pilots, has provided great support to the trip through provision of a pro-version of their app, and even the iPad hardware to run it on. The MiraCheck app moves all a pilot’s checklists onto their phone or tablet; you can create your own checklist, or download one of the many existing options and then edit it for your use.
As an example, it was easy for me to create an entirely new “Ditching” checklist to go in the emergency section, as well as edit the pre-flight checks to remove items relating to my now-uninstalled vacuum system.
MiraCheck will connect to your headset through Bluetooth and read through the checks, and recognises your responses. It also has the option to enter notes and data during the flight. Key words, such as “Emergency”, will take you straight to the relevant sections. For a solo pilot, especially when operating under IFR, this hands free operation can be a huge help; especially if your autopilot has failed, as it did on my 16.5 hour cross-country ferry tank test flight!
The company also offers a more generic app, AmbiFi, being deployed into critical areas such as operating theaters.
Avionics Source has kindly supported the trip through provision of an Avidyne 540 GPS at a great price, as well as donating worldwide navigation data to drive it. I haven’t found any better place yet for deals on avionics, and stellar customer service and support! Communications are always fast and efficient, and they’ve always gone out of their way to figure out the best way to provide what I’ve needed to keep the aircraft in top shape.
Below is a listing of the pages covering the preparation for the flight, media coverage, and the write-up of the trip as it progresses.