The first around the world journey was probably made by Magellan, a Portuguese explorer, with a three year journey starting in 1519. In 1873 Jules Verne, a French author, wrote a travel story, ‘Around the World in Eighty Days’, whereby a fictional Englishman, Phileas Fogg attempted to circumnavigate the globe in less than eighty days. Fogg accomplished that feat using road, rail and sea transport.
Flying around the world in a single engine light aircraft is usually regarded as risky. It took another fifty eight years following Phileas Fogg before Wiley Post an American pilot who in 1931 made the first circumnavigation in an aircraft.
He took less than eight days and that time is very difficult to beat, even now eighty five years later.
There are guidelines that have to be adhered to. It has to be the same crew, same aircraft, a single journey with the same start and finish point and the aircraft cannot be transhipped across the oceans. Jim’s intention is to follow the original Wiley Post route as closely as possible allowing for the present political climate.
Two hundred and twenty pilots have made the journey in a single engine aircraft since Wiley Post’s flight eighty five years ago, compared to seven thousand climbers who have stood on the summit of Everest since the first successful climb a mere thirty-three years ago.
Jim qualified as a pilot in 1968, almost fifty years ago; His wife of fifty six years who will navigate isn’t a pilot but can take over in an emergency. They have both been involved, for more than fifty years, in off road motorsport. Jim has competed in more than one thousand events worldwide and Dot in a lesser number both here and abroad.