By Chinedu Eze
A Nigerian pilot, Mr. Ademilola Odujinrin, who wants to fly round the world alone, said that he is set to make history and change African narrative as the first African to embark on a three-week solo flight around the world.
The solo flights expected to gulp about $ 1 million, would take him round the world with a single engine aircraft that has 17 and half hours fuel endurance.
The flight is expected to take off on April 26, 2016 from Lagos criss-crossing many continents, as the pilot described the forthcoming first Africa Solo flight round the world flight as a dream which the team has been working assiduously to achieve for many months now.
Odujinrin in a media briefing at the weekend in Lagos to herald the First Africa Solo Flight Round the World said about 140 pilots have flown round the world but that no African pilot had done so.
“It is a dream that we have been working very hard to achieve. No African has done it before .It is a big achievement,” he said.
The pilot said he would use SR22 aircraft with registration number N313CD and that the aircraft is nine years old, adding that the aircraft can fly 17 and half hours with special configuration before refueling.
The pilot disclosed he had been flying in past 17 years and noted that he was trained in the United Kingdom and that he flew for Arik Air for five years.
On whether he has been insured for the flight, Odujinrin stated the project was insured with a company that specialises in that type of insurance.
Speaking on what he would do when he arrives any of the destinations, Lola, as he is popularly called stated that a register would be provided for him to sign to signify he arrived that destination.
He said the journey would start from Nigeria to Cameroon, Kenya, Djibouti UAE, India and Singapore among others, and that the exercise would last for six weeks.
He stated that one of the challenges the solo flight was having is lack of sponsors, adding that most of the companies he met did not believe in the flight, especially when it is to be done alone.
Odujinrin, who stated that the aircraft has passed through all the checks and got all the approvals, adding that despite that the solo flight still needs sponsors.
He hinted he would be going for both physical and mental training for five weeks as part of preparation for the solo flight.
He listed the objective of the flight to include, to change African narrative, inspire the youths and to support selected charities especially children in the Internally Displaced People (IDP) camp.
He said the One Man One Plane One World is a project powered by the relentless motivation, determination and fearlessness of a group of private sector professionals, whose passion is fueled by vision and ambition.
The first initiative of the Transcend project kicks off in April 2016 with the first ever solo round the world flight by an African originating and terminating in Nigeria, Africa.
Also, the Project Manager, Marketing and Public Relations, Ireti Bakare Yusuf , said that while the pilot would be away for physical and mental training, the rest of the team would be making other necessary arrangements to herald the august flight.
On what one of the supporting companies; Transcend does, she informed that the company creates extra ordinary initiatives to take Nigeria to a greater height.
She stated that the solo flight was proudly Nigeria project.
According to her, “this project is bigger than me. It is time Nigeria has to celebrate after the elections and this is the time”