Slovenia pilot on round the world flight stops off in Antarctica

Slovenian pilot Matevz Lenarcic has been flying his Virus SW, an ultra-light plane made by Slovenian manufacturer, Pipistrel, around the world for over a month now.

He intends to circle the world with the lowest possible carbon dioxide emission for a trip of this magnitude. On his way from Slovenia, a Central European country at the juncture of the Alps and the Mediterranean, he has already flown over the Atlantic, landed in North Africa; South, Central, and North America; and on Thursday he landed in Antarctica, which along with Mount Everest, represents the greatest challenge of his journey.

Pilot Matevz Lenarcic set off on his journey from Slovenia on January 8, 2012. On his journey around the world, he will visit over 50 countries and fly over the equator 6 times, altogether covering almost 100,000 kilometers (62,000 miles).

Weighing merely 290 kilos (640 pounds), his plane, which uses a minimum amount of fuel, was constructed by the Slovenian manufacturer, Pipistrel, a recurrent winner of the NASA award for top energy-efficient planes.

The Virus-SW914 ultra-light plane can fly 4,000 kilometers (2,485 miles) with 350 liters (92 gallons) of fuel and flies mostly at an altitude of 3,500 meters (11,483 feet), where fuel consumption is lowest. During the flight, the plane is able to perform measurements of black carbon, the greatest greenhouse agent next to carbon dioxide, in the atmosphere. These readings will contribute significantly to our understanding of the greenhouse effect and will be carried out for the first time ever in many locations.

Environment protection and care for sustainable development is a priority policy in the tourist development of Slovenia, from where the brave pilot hails. It is a small, yet diverse country at the meeting point of the Alps and the Mediterranean, with unspoiled nature and extraordinary natural heritage. Green, with which Slovenia presents itself to the world, in addition to its commitment to responsible tourism, also reflects the fact that around 65 percent of Slovenia’s surface is covered with forest, which places our country among the top three most forested countries in Europe.

You can follow the pilot Matevz Lenarcic at, where his team has been regularly posting his impressions about the journey and photographs taken during the flight.

Home counties accents found most reassuring in a pilot

When it comes to flying, the pilot can impact our comfort levels, and new research has shown that we prefer a Home Counties resident rather than a Cockney Londoner.

A survey of business travellers has revealed that actor Nigel Havers has been topped as the most reassuring voice during a flight.

Regional accents such as Scottish and Irish have been considered particularly comforting with actors: Sean Connery, Ewan McGregor and Liam Neeson making it into the top 10 celebrity voices we’d most like to hear over the speakers.

Whereas Cockney London accents have been deemed least trustworthy, with the Midlands accent coming in as the second least trustworthy.

The poll – for the Business Travel Show in London – revealed that the Scottish James Bond’s voice was voted second favourite for a pilot’s voice, followed closely by Stephen Fry, Patrick Stewart and Hugh Grant.

While most of the trusted accents came from the UK and Ireland, George Clooney’s voice also made a surprise appearance in the top 10 list.

Dave Richardson, an airline expert and travel writer said: “There’s no doubt people want to feel safe when flying, and a clipped English accent is more likely to be reassuring than a regional one.

“I remember taking an internal flight in Russia at a time when some Russian airlines had a poor safety record, but as soon as I heard an RAF type Englishman addressing us from the cockpit, I felt fine.

“However, the growth of flying from regional airports means there is a place for regional accents, too.

“Passengers can then feel “at home” when flying, especially if they are returning from somewhere more exotic”.

Some airlines believe that their pilots represent a range of accents, including Flybe, Europe’s largest regional airline.

A spokesman said: “Flybe prides itself on having crew that represent an extensive selection of some of the ‘coolest’ regional accents in Britain.

“However, all our crew are trained to the highest professional standards and feedback from Flybe passengers is that this is the most important factor in feeling comfortable and safe – and it matters not what accent comes over the PA”.

Article by Charlotte Greenhalgh