One year after the Pacific crossingSaturday 2nd July 2016
It’s been a year already since I completed the 5-day-and-night flight over the Pacific Ocean, something nobody had done before. It was the exploration leg, the moment of truth of our flight around the world: would our airplane be able to fly day and night with solar energy only, getting close to the notion of perpetual endurance? Would I as a pilot be as sustainable as the plane in terms of my own energy?
This flight was what I had been preparing for for 13 years. Not only to prove that clean technologies can allow us to be so energy efficient than we can fly almost for ever with renewable energy, but also as a deep personal experience.
What I learned during this 117-hour adventure was that exploration is a question of mindset. Making myself believe that this 5-day flight was going to be too short to make it a fantastic experience allowed me to rid myself of the anxiety of being exhausted. It was critical for me to be conscious that all the plans and simulations I had done to prepare were not going to develop as planned, and that I had to be constantly ready for unpredictable situations. I also realized the importance of “coaching in calm weather and leading in storms” as I had to make some critical decisions against the recommendations of some of the team members, but which allowed us to make it from Japan to Hawaii and accomplish this first in aviation history.