Three months after setting off on an epic round-the-world trip, Cathay Pacific pilot Hank Cheng landed safely back in Hong Kong this week onboard his home-built plane, “Inspiration”.
Hank’s journey began on August 28 and covered approximately 50,000 miles, taking in 20 countries along the way including the Philippines, Australia, the US, France, Jordan, Oman, Sri Lanka and Thailand.
A testament to the expertise of the plane’s build team, no technical issues were experienced along the way, although Hank had to make a couple of detours due to bad weather.
Back at base, the Inspiration team provided support to Hank every step of the way, working around the clock to monitor the progress of the single-engine RV-8 light aircraft.
At 10am on Sunday, 11 weeks to the day after taking off from Hong Kong International Airport, Hank finally arrived back in the city, flying low over Victoria Harbour in celebration as he did so.
In a statement on the company’s website, Cathay Pacific Chief Operating Officer Rupert Hogg said, “We are extremely proud of what Hank and all our employees involved in the Inspiration project have achieved – this is an historic moment in Hong Kong aviation and we could not be happier that their dreams have been realised. They have proved to be wonderful ambassadors for Cathay Pacific and local aviation as a whole, showing fantastic spirit, true professionalism and tremendous enthusiasm throughout. This is a very special day for everyone at our airline and it is great to see what can be done when we all work together.”
Originally designed in 1996, Inspiration was built and flown for the first time in Hong Kong in 2015. According to the team’s website there are more than 9,000 RV aircraft in the world, however this is the first to be home-built and registered in Hong Kong.
To find out more about the journey and to see the full photo gallery, head to www.inspiration.bkoo.hk.