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Wednesday, 19-December-2018

Ravinder Bansal: Indian American plans TO FLY Solo across World

Ravinder Bansal, 68, will fly across the globe to raise funds to buy an MRI machine for a hospital in his hometown

For most, flying solo across the world is an adventure. But for 68-year-old Indian American Ravinder K Bansal from New York, it’s a philanthropic journey and mission. He is a retired engineer and entrepreneur from the New York Indian American community. Bansal is now ready to give wings to his dreams, literally. He plans to fly solo across 18 countries and 34 airports to raise $750,000 (Rs 4.83 crore) for a cancer hospital in his hometown of Ambala, Haryana where he was born. He wants to raise funds for buying an MRI machine for the Rotary Ambala Cancer Hospital in his hometown. Bansal has already started his journey from New York on July 4, on the US Independence Day. He took off in his single-engine aircraft Cessna 400 from Buffalo Niagara International Airport. 

His 2000 mile philanthropic mission will culminate in India. His six-week-long flight across the globe has a goal to raise $750,000 while the trip itself will cost him nearly $100,000 (Rs 64.4 lakh) Ravinder Bansal will be flying through England, France, Italy, Greece, Jordan, UAE, and Oman on his onward trip to India. He will have stops in Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines, Japan, Russia and Canada during his return trip to the USA. Ravinder Bansal plans to create breast cancer awareness while also raising the funds to buy an MRI machine, during his solo global flight. This means a lot to him since he lost his daughter-in-law to breast cancer in 2012. Since there were no proper medical facilities either in Kasauli or in Ambala in those days, his daughter-in-law had to travel all the way to Ludhiana from Ambala for chemotherapy and treatment. 

 It took him over 6 months to prepare logistics of the flight and learn the basics of survival. While Bansal is equipped with a personal locator beacon, satellite tracking SOS, backup portable avionics, food , and water, the weather is the biggest threat to his life during the 20,000-mile flight. A PhD holder in mechanical engineering from the Georgia Institute of Engineering, Indian American Ravinder Bansal from Buffalo, New York will be blogging his solo flight, his experience and the mission on throughout the trip. His single-engine aeroplane is equipped with a satellite tracking device to display his itinerary details and the progress of his flight live on the website.