Beijing: A 57-year-old Chinese man has completed his second around the world flight trip after flying for 68 days with 50 stops, a media report said on Monday.
Zhang Bo, who kicked off his flight from the Chicago airport on April 2 and flew over 21 countries in three continents and over three oceans, with a total mileage reaching 41,000 kms, landed at the same airport on Sunday morning, the state-run Global Times reported. Before landing, Zhang circled around a small airport four times at low altitude to express his excitement.
Earlier, Zhang made history on August 7, 2016, when he performed his first flight around the world in a propeller-driven aircraft. He landed safely on September 24 after completing the trip in 49 days. Zhang said the challenges he faced in his second world flight trip were harder than the first one. "As the airplane I flew is piston propelled and has no pressure cabin with limited endurance and flying altitude, the challenges I encountered this time were much more than when I did the first around-the-world flight," the report mentioned Zhang as saying.
He said the most difficult part of the flight was while flying over the Arctic area. "After taking off from Chicago, I directly flew northward into the Arctic Circle. Weather there was still cold in early April, when the ground temperature was 20 Celsius degrees below the zero," he said. "I was flying at an altitude of 15,000 feet, and temperature there was minus 50 Celsius," he added.
As the small DA42 aircraft is not equipped with air conditioning system, Zhang donned a special kit called ocean commander immersion suit to keep himself warm, the report said. When flying across the northern Atlantic Ocean from the Greenland to Iceland, Zhang encountered strong headwind, and the flight speed dropped to 110 to 120 kilometers per hour. "I realized there was no way to fly over the ocean on the day, so I turned back and landed in a small gravel airport on the east coast of the Greenland," the paper mentioned him saying.
He got frostbite in ears when being out for two minutes checking the airplane at the airport. High oil pressure was another difficulty Zhang experienced during the flight trip. Zhang said that he has already started planning his third similar trip and there would be six planes together completing the trip....