Two pilots of twin Flight Design CTs are back home in Sion, Switzerland, after flying around the world to celebrate 100 years of aviation in their country. Yannick Bovier, 37, and Francisco Agullo, 41, departed their home base on the last day of April. After 51 days, the pair returned safely on Saturday, June 19, after crossing two oceans, confronting sluggish bureaucrats for overfly permission, battling fatigue and loneliness, and performing routine maintenance that comes with so many hours logged.
Starting on April 30, the duo leaped the Atlantic to Brazil by May 8 and then crossed the Caribbean to Miami, Florida, by May 13. After crossing the United States, Bovier and Agullo made two very long flights to cross the Pacific on June 3. The pair wrote, “[We flew over] 15,877 kilometers (about 10,000 miles) of water… in 76 hours.” The arduous passage across the planet’s largest ocean brought several interesting experiences, including landing on an atoll on the Pacific Marshall Island of Majuro.
The ocean crossings were noteworthy but obtaining permission to overfly some middle eastern countries brought difficulties of another sort. Fortunately Bovier and Agullo are airline pilots and had familiarity in dealing with aviation authorities in many countries. They also were supported by teams at home that helped with permits and logistical efforts, as well as weather reports.
“The story of these two pilots as reported in their log is a fascinating read,” reported Flight Design USA President Tom Peghiny. The Swiss team calls their adventure Azimut 270 and they kept their many followers updated with an online “logbook” that most pilots will enjoy reading here.
The twin CT aircraft were modified to carry 120 gallons of fuel for their 17-hour flight legs over water. A factory-stock CTLS carries 35 gallons of auto gas or 100LL, giving it a range of more than 800 nautical miles.
More than 1,500 CTs are flying in 39 countries. One of the first aircraft certified under ASTM International standards in 2005, the CT (“composite technology”) remains the top-selling LSA in America through five consecutive years. Flight Design sold the first LSA to India and was the first LSA to earn Chinese Type Design Approval. A newer model, the MC (metal concept), has generated excitement in the market.