Date
4 December 2016
Hank Cheng is met by his family (inset) in Hong Kong airport while supporters pose with the historic aircraft. Photos: Facebook/Inspiration.bkoo
Hank Cheng is met by his family (inset) in Hong Kong airport while supporters pose with the historic aircraft. Photos: Facebook/Inspiration.bkoo

HK-built single-engine aircraft home safe after world voyage

A Hong Kong-built single-engine aircraft has completed a round-the-world voyage — an improbable journey for its pilot who assembled it from scratch.   

Hank Cheng, a Cathay Pacific Airways pilot, landed safely at about 10:45 a.m. Sunday at the Hong Kong International Airport, more than two months after embarking on the journey on Aug. 28, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.

It was the culmination of a dream to travel the world in his own handmade aircraft, write a new page in Hong Kong’s aviation history and spread the Lion Rock spirit. 

He was warmly welcomed by his family and hundreds of people who came to witness the historic moment. The 78-day journey was shorter than the three months he had originally planned.

Cheng had spent eight years building the two-seater, single-engine RV-8 aircraft named B-KOO Inspiration with the help of a team.

He expressed his great feeling about accomplishing the journey despite some difficulties along the way and thanked his family, friends and the government for their support.

Cheng said he could not have done it without his team.

Cheng and a co-pilot flew B-KOO Inspiration to Southeast Asia and Australia before traveling over the Pacific Ocean to the US and Canada.

They then proceeded to Europe, covering 25 countries and 50,000 kilometers, Headline Daily reports.

Cheng said the biggest challenge during his adventure was flying from Hawaii to California because the 15-hour trip put him not only under great mental stress but also in danger of running out of fuel.

Having accomplished his dream, he gave a parting shot to aspiring flyers: Don’t just dream it. Do it.

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TL/AC/RA

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