Matevž Lenarčič of Slovenia is flying a modified Pipistrel Virus with a turbocharged Rotax engine around the world
westward, taking pictures, ecological measurements, and gathering material for a book. You can see the details in a story
by AOPA”s Jim Moore. He has already flown enough miles to circle the globe, but he is only halfway. When he is done he will have flown the lightest aircraft ever (640 pounds) around the world to the west, will have a record for gas mileage (he is getting 28 statute miles per gallon), and will have enough material for his 12th book. He’s a photographer. And a scientist. He is measuring soot in the air every inch of the way, and is going to show the world that fresh water, not oil, may be our next real crisis. Is it all going smoothly? Not always. Here is his report on a recent flight over South America:
“Amazing views were spoiled by engine problem, loosing [sic] some RPM and power so turned to Calafate. After several looong minutes engine sound got back to normal so I continued toward the glaciers Perito Moreno, Upsala, Viedma and Cerro Torre and Fitz Roy which were clear of clouds in almost no wind. Great views but a lot frustration as I was not confident with engine run and had a strong smell of fuel when I opened the window. “
He decided to push on and landed safely. He has flown thousands of miles in the 10 days since then.