Nine months and several ‘pandemic pauses’ after takeoff on a planned five-month global Pole-to-Pole peace mission named One Planet, One People, One Plane: Oneness for Humanity, San Diego pilot and former naval officer Robert DeLaurentis has returned home in his highly modified 1983 twin-engine aircraft, ‘Citizen of the World’.
DeLaurentis set out on a record-setting 26,000 mile, 22-country, six-continent flight to connect the only two places on the planet where there has always been peace: the North and South poles. Along the way, he interviewed NGO leaders and local residents for an upcoming documentary called Peace Pilot to the Ends of the Earth and Beyond.
Along the way he has set several records, including: successfully using biofuels over the North and South poles for the first time; longest distance flown in a twin or single engine turboprop (17.5 hours); first and fastest Polar circumnavigation of the planet in a twin or single engine turboprop; first testing for plastic microfibres across the globe including over the South and North poles and the first testing of NASA WaferScale Spaceship outside of Santa Barbara
“I took the biggest chance of my life with this Pole to Pole peace mission,” says DeLaurentis. “It was certainly the riskiest flight I ever set out on, with more opportunities for failure than I'd ever experienced. Add in a coronavirus pandemic that was not on the route schedule and having to navigate different countries' lockdown policies and count on the goodwill of people whose language I didn't speak was daunting at times. But I learned more about what it truly means to be a 'Citizen of the World' and the power of peace, both inner and between people and countries, than I ever dreamed possible.”