Biologist, environmentalist and photographer-pilot Matevž Lenarčič returned to the main Slovenian airport (Jože Pučnik Brnik airport) on 19 April, which represented the end of his journey around the world; during this three-month journey, he flew almost 100,000 kilometres and over more than 50 countries with the ultra light Pipistrel airplane, Virus SW 914 Turbo. His biggest achievements were flying over the Antarctic, Mount Everest and, especially, his successes during unfavorable weather conditions.
1 light aircraft – 290 kg, around the world – westbound, 6 equator crossings, over 95,000 kilometres, 7 continents, 120 National Parks, 3 Oceans, the Antarctic, Mt. Everest, minimum unleaded fuel, new aerial images… these represent some brief statistics of the flight, while especially important are the words that the Slovenian pilot used to summarize this unique achievement: “The finality of everything and everyone brought the GreenLight WorldFlight project to a happy close.
During these three months, life on the 95,000 kilometre-long flight over every world continent as well as Mount Everest was really intensive. The world is beautiful, which is simply because of nature and the people who live here. There is enough space, food and water for all of us. With this flight, we have proven that the change in mentality in the direction of SMALL-LIGHT-GREEN is both possible and necessary."
By realising the pioneer achievement of Matevž Lenarčič with the small, light and sustainable airplane of the acknowledged Slovenian producer Pipistrel, who won the NASA competition for the most energy efficient airplane three time in a row, Slovenia made a new step towards increasing its recognisability; moreover, Slovenia can represent a role model in the area of environmental preservation and protection.
Director of the Slovenian Tourist Board, Maja Pak, M.A., said at the occasion: "The green flight project has joined Slovenian innovativeness and knowledge with the commitment of our country towards sustainable development. Therefore, the Slovenian Tourist Board did not find issue with deciding whether to join the Green Light World Flight project or not, but rather, how to use this project to spread the word of a small and green country in the heart of Europe committed to sustainable development. The unique flight of Matevž Lenarčič around the world with a minimum carbon footprint has attracted a lot of attention of foreign media from Argentina to Morocco, and brought into the world the gist of the message of the I Feel Slovenia national trademark."
During his journey, Lenarčič recorded a lot of amazing material from the air, while the journey also had a scientific purpose; namely, during his journey around the world, Lenarčič measured the black carbon concentration in numerous locations where it hadn`t previously been measured. Matevž Lenarčič, who had already flown East around the world in an ultra-light airplane in 2004, will collect his impressions in a monograph.
The flight, its progress, thoughts and impressions of the pilot and photos can be seen here.