This story seems to have passed unnoticed in the western press. A young female pilot aged 23 from India, Aarohi Pandit, hopes to be the first woman to circumnavigate the globe in an LSA. She’s spent 50-something days at it so far and has recently crossed the ice sheet of Greenland, Sermersuaq in the local language (pronunciation here), between Tasiilaq (Kulusuk) and Nuuk. Pandit’s flying a Rotax 912-powered Pipistrel Sinus (VT-NBF) which she has named Mahī, Sanskrit for earth apparently.
Story in Danish: https://sermitsiaq.ag/node/213432
What is the main risk in this kind of flight? The engine looks like a Rotax.
There doesn‘t seem to be ANYTHING special about this one. A woman? Ok. 23 years? Ok. From India? Ok. LSA? Ok. But where is the beef? IMHO, it doesn‘t really deserve much particular publicity.
Risks are outlined by Timothy here. The weather in Nuuk is often quite windy or foggy. Foggy season starts about now and by mid-summer there will be coastal fog generally about a fifth of the time and there will be fog in Nuuk on about half the days between June and August. There will also be plenty of fog over the ice cap where the horizon is ill-defined and melt ponds are often found at the edges. The winds in east Greenland are quite remarkable. This morning in Kulusuk it was gusting to over 50 knots. The assumed wind load used in new buildings there is twice that assumed on the west coast. See pitaraq in DMI Technical Report 00-18: Observed Climate of Greenland, 1958–99 — with Climatological Standard Normals, 1961–90 (pdf link):
A special feature in Greenland is that the change
from calm to gale force may take place very
suddenly. A Greenlandic word for this phenomenon
is “piteraq”, which is mainly used about strong
northwesterly fall winds on the east coast. These
winds will typically occur when cold air of Canadian
origin reaches the coast via the ice cap behind a
northeast moving low. The topography of the ice
cap will canalise the cold outflow towards parts of
the coastland. Most exposed is the wide sea bay to
the south of Tasiilaq (Ammassalik).
Every rare and challenging effort in general aviation which has the potential to inspire and appeal to newcomers should be publicised. Especially those carried out by women who drive over two thirds of consumer spending but represent merely a tenth of the pilot population.
That aircraft is a microlight so not my usual news of another SR22, C182, PA46, DA42, TBM900 crossing atlantic or turning around the globe ;)
I think few pilots have done it on microlights, motorgliders, vintage to start with, I only know of a G109/RF4 motor-gliders who did make it over the Atlantic, not a big achievement but still get you a place in a west coast aviation museum…
There are still other ways to achieve it for those on budget, he just arrived last week and he was not on diet though
I think the point is, she is actually doing it. I mean, we all know it is possible. She got a good plane with a good engine, she is a seasoned pilot. It’s easy to say that anybody and everybody could do this. Fact is, anybody and everybody isn’t doing it, so theory and practicalities are two very different things here. She is the first female doing it. I think it’s great.