Wednesday, February 24, 2016 6:09 pm
A Nigerian pilot, Mr Ademilola Odujinrin, says he is preparing for a historic solo flight around the world in April.
Odujinrin said this today while addressing aviation correspondents on the proposed mission at the local wing of the Murtala Muhammed Airport in Lagos.
Odujinrin will be the first African to embark on the adventurous journey which had been accomplished by only 114 persons globally.
This will be Africa’s very first solo flight around the world, starting and finishing in Lagos, Nigeria — the continent’s most populous country.
The project is supported by the Transcend Project, a non-governmental organisation.
The journey, which will take him across the seven continents of the world, is expected to take up to six weeks depending on the weather conditions.
The pilot said the visionary expedition was to demonstrate the potential capabilities of Nigeria and its people to achieve extraordinary feats.
“The project aims to inspire Nigeria’s teeming population to begin to conceive a world without borders with unbridled dreams to transform the Nigerian narrative while shattering all stereotypes.
“The planned solo expedition will be achieved flying the aircraft, Cirrus SR22. It has a total payload of about 439kg.
“This particular aircraft with registration number N313CD has been specifically modified for this journey with additional long-range tanks and a HF radio installed for longer stretches of the journey,’’ he said.
Odujinrin, who is married with two children, said he had so far acquired over 4,000 flight hours and worked previously with Nigerian carrier, Arik Air.
According to him, he is currently undergoing physical and psychological training to prepare him for the challenges of operating a flight without any assistance from another person.
Also speaking, the Project Director, Transcend, Mr Ladi Ani-Mumuney, said the journey would cost over a million dollars and appealed for the support of well-meaning Nigerians and corporate organisations.
Ani-Mumuney said the objective of the adventure was to inspire youths that follow their dreams and also promote the image of Nigeria outside the country.
He added that monies realised from the historic event would be channelled to support selected charities, particularly children living in Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps in the North-East.
On his part, the pilot’s father, Mr Adetunji Odujinrin, said his son’s adventure was a laudable project which needed the support of all and sundry.