Nigerian Watch Feature

NIGERIAN pilot Captain Ademilola Odunjirin plans to become the first African to undertake a solo flight around the world in a specially-configured single Cirrus aircraft that will start in Lagos and take him across the globe.
Billed to take him to major cities across the world, the flight will see Captain Odunjirin, a former Arik Air pilot, fly through Cameroun, Kenya, Djibouti the United Arab Emirates, India and Singapore among other countries over a six week period. Records show that 114 pilots have flown round the world but that no African pilot has ever done it.
 According to Captain Odunjirin, this is a dream which he and the organisers have been working assiduously to achieve over the last 10 years. He added that one of the major objectives of the flight is to change the world perception of Africans and put Nigeria on the global map.
 Captain Odunjirin said: “This is to change Africa narratives, inspire the youths and to support selected charities especially children in the internally displaced people (IDP) camp. It is a dream that we have been working very hard to achieve as no African has done it before and it will be a big achievement.”
He revealed that he would use a specially configured SR22 Cirrus nine-year old aircraft with registration number N313CD that can fly 17-and-a-half hours before refuelling.  A vastly experienced pilot who has been flying for 17 years, Captain Odunjirin added that he was trained in the UK and US and he flew for Arik Air for five years.
 Captain Odunjirin, popularly known as Lola, said the project has been insured with a company that specialises in this type of insurance. He added that when he arrives at any of the destinations, a register would be provided for him to sign as proof that he was there.
 According to the pilot, one of the challenges the solo flight project is having is a lack of sponsors, adding that many companies do not believe in the flight, especially when it is yet to be done. He added that although they currently have support from some state governments, more sponsorship is needed.
He is billed to go for both physical and mental training for five weeks as part of preparation for the solo flight. Ireti Yusuf, the project manager, for the operation, said that while the pilot would be away for physical and mental training, the rest of the team would be making other necessary arrangements to herald the august flight.

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