On August 18, 2018, two Belarusian pilots started round-the-world journey on a light single-engined aircraft Cessna 182T. This was a special moment for Belarusian aviation – first round-the-world air expedition ever performed on a single engined screw-propeller plane with national registration, by Belarusian crew. Two experienced pilots took off from Lipki airfield, Belarus, to fly over 10+ countries, land in more than 40 cities worldwide, and spend around 100 hours in the sky – all within a month.

The initial aim of the project “Around the world: Belarus”, as stated by the organizers, is to show capabilities of general aviation of the country, foster sport aviation development in Belarus and raise interest to the country. The captain Alexandr Tsenter is not only a pilot, but a chief of Belarus Federation of Air Sports, and co-pilot Andrey Borisevich, who has more than 3000 flight hours, is a head of SkyEagle Aviation Academy in Florida, the United States.

Pilots are now completing the day 20 of their journey, and are about to reach Chicago (U.S.). They have already crossed the Pacific, passing by Alaska and Chukotka. So far, the toughest landing happened in Juneau, Alaska, as pilots had to land an aircraft in rain and total darkness. Other than that, the journey is running smoothly.

During the expedition, as pilots themselves call the journey, they traditionally keep travel notebooks. The notes are all digital – Tsenter and Borisevich regularly post observations and flight details online to let everyone track the journey and follow the first person narration. The crew also organizes online translations on a regular basis and answer followers’ questions.

In an interview for TUT.by, the pilots share their thoughts about popularization of a pilot job in terms of global pilot shortage. “There is a huge number of people who don’t know how to get into aviation industry. It is not very obvious in Belarus, thus we need to talk more about it,” Borisevich says. “We want people who have been dreaming about aviation to make their first steps after seeing these news,” Tsenter adds.

The project was sponsored by Belarusian Federation of Air Sports, together with local Belarusian media BT and TUT.by, Aeronautica Militare, VironIT, and the companies of pilots themselves – A-100 group and SkyEagle Aviation Academy.

(Image: Belarus Federation of Air Sports)