0
kilometers
0
stops
0
days

Flight for Wildlife

“From up here, the earth looks calm. Luscious and rich. Blessed with many climates and terrains. And a wealth of wildlife. Each an individual and precious species. Up here, there is no threat to their survival. There is just space for them to roam- wild and free. But down there, it’s a different story.

About

Many of the world’s wildlife species are on the brink of extinction. Multiple international organizations are committed to continually working to preserve these species. However, their efforts are constantly eroded and destroyed by poachers who illegally mutilate and kill species to supply a market for products like ivory and husk.

One man will heighten international awareness of the threat of poachers, and the need for governments and individuals to take this threat seriously. Pilot Faisal Sultan will attempt to set a new world record circumnavigating the globe, flying eastbound and covering 41,400 kilometers in 26 days. The flight will see him face unpredictable weather conditions, flight and routing issues, and incredible time pressure to highlight a cause that is close to his heart.


The Pilot

Faisal Sultan

 

Biography

Faisal Sultan is a pilot based in Kenya. A Pakistani native, he has held and maintained a Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) Private Pilot License for over 15 years and has accumulated over 400 hours’ flight experience. Faisal also holds First Class Medical from the FAA and has worked in South Africa, South Sudan, and the United States, and for USAID funded programs.

Throughout his life, Faisal has always had a passion for animals and wildlife. He actively supports conservation and anti-poaching efforts worldwide and hopes the Flight for Wildlife can further raise international awareness of the horrific and devastating effects of wildlife poaching.

 

The World Record Attempt

The aim is to set a new world record in Class C-1B (a maximum take-off weight of 1,000 kgs) with the flight plan covering a distance of 40,000 kilometers – the circumference of the Earth at the equator – in 26 days. The aircraft will depart Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi in June and fly eastbound on its return to Kenya. The world record attempt has been registered with the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) – the international governing body of air sports.


 

Faisal’s Inspiration

The inspiration for Flight for Wildlife originated three years ago after a conversation between Faisal and Qatar’s Sheikh Hamad Bin Ali Bin Jabr Al-Thani – the Founder of Qatar Airways, who holds a world record for flying solo in a twin-engine aircraft. Since then, Faisal has been determined to attempt to set his own world record in a single engine aircraft, and to do so to highlight the cause of wildlife conservation and anti-poaching efforts.

Q&A with Faisal Sultan


My two major passions in life have always been aviation and animals. I’ve been flying since 1998, and I’ve held a Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) Private Pilot License for over 15 years accumulating more than 400 hours’ flight experience in this time. Today I’m based in Kenya though I’m originally from Pakistan, and my father was also a pilot. I’ve lived and worked in South Africa, South Sudan, and the United States, and for USAID funded programs. I’ve always loved animals and wildlife, and I’ve always actively supported conservation. I’ve been involved in anti-poaching operations and the air transportation of animals who couldn’t be released in the wild and had to be moved to other locations. These included lynx cats, chimpanzees, hyenas, and turtles. I’ve also done some consultancy work with Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS). Poaching is devastating in so many ways. Not only is it terribly cruel to species, but it also impacts economies, communities, and our natural heritage. I’m delighted to be able to use my skills and experience to highlight the importance of rallying around conservation groups and doing all we can as individuals to preserve the beauty around us. I’ve always sought challenges and try to push myself to the limit. The Flight for Wildlife is the culmination of my love for animals and my ambitions as a pilot.
The inspiration for this particular event came about three years ago. I was on a flight and having a conversation with the Founder of Qatar Airways Sheikh Hamad Bin Ali Bin Jabr Al-Thani who holds east and westbound world records for flying solo in a twin-engine aircraft. We discussed the logistics and the challenges, and he really inspired me. Since then, I’ve been determined to attempt to set my own world record in a single engine aircraft, and to do it to highlight the cause of wildlife conservation and anti-poaching efforts.
Before the flight, securing all the necessary overflight clearances and landing permits will be a challenge. Making the correct decisions regarding route determination is vital. I chose to fly eastbound for this world record as this is the most favorable due to the wind conditions. Eastbound out of Kenya is possible, and since Kenya has been the epicenter of my life- as well as a country that has suffered hugely from wildlife poaching, I thought it would be symbolic to depart and finish in Nairobi. Refueling will be paramount, the fuel I require is not available in every airport and if any request is declined the risks are very high. Also, the highest my aircraft can fly is 13,000 feet which produces its own set of challenges. I will have to choose a ‘point of no return’, the location where I’ll have to decide whether to keep going or turn back. It’s all down to the good weather and favorable wind conditions and if I achieve good tail wind, etc. On the ground there will also be challenges. Because I’ll be under extreme time-pressure, the length of time it takes to get the paperwork will be crucial. Sometimes, it can take up to many hours to get airborne, and this can waste a lot of time. I’m also going to need rest, so that’s another consideration. This is where my sponsor UAS comes in. It has the important role of coordination so as to minimize ground handling time and will also take care of route development and weather updates. All in all, about ten hours of flying a day minimum is required, including one departure, a technical stop for refueling, and a landing.
My aim is to set a new world record in Class C-1B (a maximum take-off weight of 1,000 kgs) with the flight plan covering a distance of 41,400 kilometers – the circumference of the Earth at the equator. I want to complete this under 27 days. I’ve been preparing for this for the past three years. We acquired the aircraft early in 2015. It’s a Diamond DA20-C1 (Call Sign N61CT). I picked it up in Sweden and flew it to Kenya – that represents about 20% of the Flight for Wildlife journey. I was making three flights in one day; the cockpit was small, my auto-pilot broke down, different issues arose during that trip. Since then, we’ve made many upgrades and modifications to the aircraft to prepare it for the world record-breaking mission. Test flights conducted in November 2015 ensured all systems are a GO well in advance of the take-off date in June when I’ll depart Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi. I’ve registered this world record attempt with the international governing body of air sports, the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI). The current record is held by Swiss Pilot Hans Schmidt, who flew eastbound in 27 days in 2002.
I wish to raise more awareness of the vital importance of conserving our world’s precious species. Just taking two endangered species as an example – tens of thousands of elephants are killed every year for their ivory and hundreds of rhinos are killed for their horns. Forest rangers employed to protect them are also murdered. We have to do all we can to encourage national leaders to elevate this issue politically. I’d like to see more countries put embargoes on markets to crack down on the market for ivory, for example. I know that this worthy cause means a lot to so many people, and I really hope animal and wildlife lovers throughout the world support my mission.

Wildlife Conservation


Wildlife poaching is among the top 5 illegal international trades, estimated to be worth between 7-10 billion USD annually.

Feeding markets for ivory and rhino horn, poaching not only threatens the survival of endangered species, but also threatens individuals, communities, and regional economies.

As well as elephants and rhino being killed and mutilated, many rangers who are employed to protect endangered species are also killed by poachers.

In Africa, tens of thousands of elephants are being killed for their ivory every year, and thousands of rhino for their tusks. Poachers are well equipped and often armed with heavy caliber ammunition.

Wildlife conservationists and anti-poaching campaigners are constantly urging the public to boycott ivory and tusk products to cut off demand and break the market.

They also lobby world leaders to elevate the issue politically by constantly calling on governments to enforce regulations more aggressively, improve anti-poaching laws, and prosecute those found guilty.

The Route

Faisal will make 41 stops for refueling on his journey


  • 01 Nairobi Wilson, Kenya HKNW
  • 02 Juba, South Sudan HSSJ
  • 03 Khartoum, Sudan HSSS
  • 04 Jeddah King Abdul Aziz, Saudi Arabia OEJN
  • 05 Rabigh, Saudi Arabia OERB
  • 06 Thumamah, Saudi Arabia OETH
  • 07 Riyadh King Khalid, Saudi Arabia OERK
  • 08 Abu Dhabi Al-Bateen, UAE OMAD
  • 09 Karachi Jinnah, Pakistan OPKC
  • 10 Lahore Allama Iqbal, Pakistan OPLA
  • 11 Chittagong Shah Amanat, Bangladesh VGEG
  • 12 Chiang Mai, Thailand VTCC
  • 13 U-Tapao, Thailand VTBU
  • 14 Luala Lumpur Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah, Malaysia WMSA
  • 15 Kuching, Malaysia WMSA
  • 16 Manilla Ninoy Aquino, Phillipines RPLL
  • 17 Naha, Japan ROAH
  • 18 Hanamaki, Japan RJSI
  • 19 Obihiro Airport, Japan RJCB
  • 20 Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, Russia UHPP
  • 21 Adak, U.S.A PADK
  • 22 Cold Bay, U.S.A. PACD
  • 23 Ted Stevens Anchorage, U.S.A. PANC
  • 24 Whitehorse/Erik Nielsen, Canada CYXY
  • 25 High Level, Canada CYOJ
  • 26 Lynn Lake, Canada CYYL
  • 27 Dryden Regional, Canada CYHD
  • 28 Timmins (Victor M. Power), Canada CYTS
  • 29 Baie-Comeau, Canada CYBC
  • 30 Goose bay, Canada CYYR
  • 31 Narsarsuuaq, Greenland BGBW
  • 32 Keflavik, Iceland BIKF
  • 33 Vagar, Faeros Islands EKVG
  • 34 London Bigin Hill, United Kingdom EGKB
  • 35 Rome Urbe, Italy LIRU
  • 36 Heraklion Crete, Greece LGIR
  • 37 Cairo, Egypt HECA
  • 38 Aswan, Egypt HESN
  • 39 Riyadh King Khalid, Saudi Arabia OERK
  • 40 Thumamah, Saudi Arabia OETH
  • 41 Piyadh King Khalid, Saudi Arabia OERK

The Aircraft

Preparations for the Flight for Wildlife have been taking place over the past three years. In early 2015, the aircraft – a Diamond DA20-C1 (Call Sign N61CT) – was acquired. Since then, it has undergone extensive upgrades and modifications to prepare it for the world record-breaking mission. Test flights conducted in November 2015 ensured all systems are a go well in advance of the take-off date of in June 2016.

Support Us

Show your support for international wildlife conservation by sharing this website link, video footage, and social media sites on your social media platforms, and follow Faisal’s progress throughout his flight. Show your support for international wildlife conservation by sharing this website link, video footage, and social media sites on your social media platforms, and follow Faisal’s progress throughout his flight. Faisal has set up a fund for those who wish to donate. Any monies raised will be used twofold: to help cover the flight costs and to raise awareness of the importance of conserving our world’s precious species. 

“We have to do all we can to encourage national leaders to elevate this issue politically. I’d like to see more countries put embargoes on markets to crack down on the market for ivory. I know that this worthy cause means a lot to so many people, and I really hope animal and wildlife lovers throughout the world support my mission.”  Faisal Sultan.
To donate, please follow this link.


Mission Team


Capt. Moez Didarali

Mission Director

Faisal Sultan

Pilot Flight for Wildlife

Eng. John Ndirangu

Chief Engineer

Capt. Eddie Gould

Flight Operations

Capt. Ahmed Hassan

Flight Operations

Dr. Joginder Bhangra

Doctor

Administrative Support

Special thanks to Farhana Zuberi and General Aviation Services Egypt for making this mission possible.

Radhika Raithatha

Finance Manager

Stephen Kimani

Information and Communication Technology

Special Thanks

Ocean Air International is contributing all associated costs of the flight in Pakistan. Sultan Ishaque is contributing all associated costs of the flight in Thailand.

UAS International Trip Support is a leading global trip support solutions provider, trusted by heads of state, VVIPs, Fortune 500 companies and business jet operators worldwide. With a global network that includes continental headquarters in Houston, Johannesburg, Hong Kong, and Dubai, regional offices in Lagos, Nairobi, Beijing, and New Delhi, and station managers in 23 global locations, we offer clients unrivaled connectivity while taking care of every possible need. Named ‘Ground Service Provider of the Year’ at the Aviation Business Awards 2014, our record of operational excellence for our clients is unparalleled. Our experienced international industry experts provide 24/7 support, executive travel and air charter services.
For more information, visit our website

Sponsored by