Slovenian becomes first to fly around the world alone in ultra-light plane

04-09-2004

Slovenia is a small country but with a swag of world record breakers - from marathón swimmers to runners like Jolanda Ceplak. Now another Slovene has added his name to the record books - three months ago Matevz Lenarcic started his solo flight in an ultra-light plane without additional support - from Slovenia over Siberia across the Bering Strait to Alaska, Canada, Iceland and England and back to Slovenia where he landed a week ago.

Matevz Lenarcic is a professional photographer and a graduate biologist seeking adventure and this is why he decided to fly around the world. But this was not his first attempt to do so. Two years ago he wanted to fly around the world but Canadian bureaucracy prevented his effort - last year money was the problem. This year he succeeded and he also set a new speed record in the category of aircraft with a weight of up to 500 kg. Now that he is back from his latest adventure, having flown 38.000 km, we talked to him about the difficulties he encountered during his preparations:

Flying around the world is quite complicated, so there were quite a number of difficulties regarding organizing all the necessary permits in different countries. The second is getting the right aircraft to cope with flying in very different conditions in very hot and very cold weather and the third, of course is the weather itself, because flying 1,500 km each day, sometimes more, it's very difficult to get nice weather for the whole route.

What was your motive to fly around the world on your own?

The main motive is the love to fly, you have to love flying, if you want to sit 10 or even more hours each day in an aircraft and there was the motive to fly as the first pilot solo in an ultra-light plane without any support around the world and of course the next motif was to break a speed record.

Starting such an adventure it is necessary to be physically and mentally well prepared as Matevž Lenarčič said flying above the Arctic Sea or Siberia can be a strenuous experience. But he has plans for the future, which he is not going to reveal yet:

Yes, of course now there are dreams and I hope one day the dreams will become plans and hopefully some plans will be realized.

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