Bertrand, some advice for your Pacific flight

Friday 22nd April 2016

Dear Bertrand,

Watching you fly over the Pacific, from Hawaii to San Francisco, your longest flight ever with Solar Impulse 2, reminds me of my flight last year from Japan to Hawaii. I learnt a few things while I was up in the air for 5 days and nights, and would like to share them with you so that you can fully enjoy the only place in the world where nobody can disturb you!

  • Take your time to do everything mindfully, enjoy each moment, and embrace all your emotions: excitement, happiness, stress, nostalgie, sadness
  • Trust the airplane, he is a great partner and will not let you down
  • Despite the hair growth inhibitor cream we use, your beard will start to grow, making you look like a flying Robinson Crusoe. Just accept it
  • Make video recordings when you get stressed, and you will be stressed. Watching them later on will be bring back so many memories
  • What about belly dancing on your seat from time to time to relax your lower back? Trust me, it works wonders
  • Don’t move too much when you have the oxygen mask on at high altitude. First because you’re covered with tubes and second because moving will make you use too much oxygen and trigger the alarms in the cockpit. That noise really gets on your nerves
  • Avoid crossing paths with Joe the shark, I could see him from the sky and he doesn’t look too friendly…
  • As you are flying East, remember to make a U-turn to be able to enjoy the sunset
  • Recharge the plane’s batteries, but recharge your own batteries as well: sleep! The Mission Control Center will keep watch over you and Si2 while you rest
  • Don’t forget to trim the airplane differently when you go to bed or you might get close to the stall speed...
  • Increase the brightness of the small artificial horizon instrument, it will guide you when you wake up and help you to keep the plane horizontal until you brain starts functioning again
  • You will like being on your own up there so much that you might feel sad as the flight nears its end (I admit I cried), but we have to come back to the ground to promote #futureisclean at one point don’t we?
  • Don’t forget to put sunscreen on, it’s sunny up there and you will get burned
  • Enjoy this fantastic and crazy experience, I’ll be waiting for you on the West Coast!

André Borschberg

Read more about the longest flight ever with Solar Impulse 2

This blog post has been originally published here.