Inspiring Adventure in Aviation
Two pilots who have built their friendship around their love for general aviation are launching their own adventures together. Adrian Eichhorn’s North Pole rendezvous and Shinji Maeda’s trek around the globe will begin in Maryland before they part ways over Norway. Here we will follow the two individual flights of these veteran and adventurous pilots.
Adrian’s North Pole fly over is a challenge that brings a chance to solve new problems, see new places, and make new friends. Each pilot has a different history of flying, different general aviation experiences, and different reasons for why a trip like this is important to themselves and to the aviation community. Read more about the route, Adrian’s plane and the pilots and crew below.
Lightspeed has the honor of being able to be in contact with Adrian during his flight. Visit this page during the flight, where we will be posting updates about his journey!
Adventure flying is a challenge and takes a lot of preparation. Completing a flight of this magnitude involves thinking through the risks and problem solving. Adrian will be flying over remote areas while facing temperatures of 40 degrees below.
Adrian and his Polar Flight Crew, plan to meet up in with Shinji at AOPA headquarters in Frederick, Maryland and begin the first leg of the trips together from there. About two weeks later, Adrian will land in the Pacific Northwest. Their projected flight plan is below with tentative dates of arrival to the listed destinations.
KHEF – Maryland, USA – 05/05/2021
KBGR – Maine, USA – 05/05/2021
CYYR – Goose Bay, Newfoundland – 05/06/2021
BIRK – Reykjavik, Iceland – 05/07/2021
ENBR – Bergen, Norway – 05/09/2021
ENTC – Tromso, Norway – 05/11/2021
ENSB – Longyearbyen, Norway – 05/13/2021
PAFB – Fairbanks, Alaska, USA – 05/15/2021
KPDX – Portland, Oregon, USA – 05/17/2021
In 1990, Adrian bought a Bonanza and started restoring it. He replaced the interior, installed a new panel, and rebuilt the engine. After years of work to get every detail perfect, including painting the plane the perfect blue, he added one of it’s most unique features – those big tip tanks on it which were old military drop tanks that were sized and built specifically to attach to this airplane. And it’s the only P-model Bonanza in the world that has those tanks. So, the airplane now can go un-refueled for 26 hours.
To read more about modifications and how Adrian was awarded for this work read Journey to the Silver Lindy at Oshkosh.
Adrian A. Eichhorn is an airline transport-rated pilot, currently flying a De Havilland Dash 8 out of Manassas, Virginia for Leidos. Prior to Leidos, he flew for JetBlue Airways as an A320 Captain for 15 years. He was also a corporate pilot for the FAA, NASA, General Dynamics, and the Washington Redskins, and has a wide range of aviation experience beyond General Aviation.
40 years ago, when Adrian was in college, he dreamed of becoming an Army aviator. However, in his college-day efforts he proved to be a better resource with his civil engineering degree in the United States Army Corps of Engineers. Now, he is fulfilling his life-long dream of flying for the Army and following in his father’s footsteps, as an accomplished Army pilot. Adrian is now flying the same mission as his dad who retired in 1963 and carrying on his legend.
Adrian has received numerous national awards including being selected as the FAA National Safety Counselor of the Year in 2001 and most recently the 2016 FAA National Maintenance Technician of the Year. He also is the sole recipient of both of the highest honors given by the American Bonanza Society – the M.D. Cashion for Technical Excellence in 2005 and the Airmanship Award in 2008. He is type rated in the Airbus 320, Gulfstream IV, III, II, 200, Challenger 604, Cessna 560 Excel, Dash 8 and the Aero Vodochody L39.
Adrian served 20 years in the United States Army Corps of Engineers, retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel. From 1996 to 2000 he was assigned to the Joint Chiefs of Staff as the Strategic Nuclear Operational Plan advisor to President Bill Clinton.
Shinji is the very first Japanese one-eyed certified pilot in the entire world. Since he was a young boy, he dreamed of becoming an airplane pilot in Japan. After enduring a horrible car accident, Shinji was left blind in one eye, which left him disqualified from obtaining his pilot’s license, under Japanese aerospace regulations.
Determined to find a solution, Shinji moved to the United States and continue his education. Upon graduation with a Master’s degree in Safety Science from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, Shinji joined a large Aerospace company.
While achieving his professional goals, Shinji never lost sight of his true passion to fly the blue skies. He continued to participate in flight training programs, and under the United States aerospace regulations (Statement of Demonstrated Ability – SODA – FAR61.401), he was successful in obtaining a private pilot license in 2005. This was a “first” for the Japanese aerospace community to have a “single-eyed handicapped pilot”. Shinji went on from private pilot training and he is now teaching others how to fly at Snohomish flying service, WA as an FAA certified flight instructor.
Shinji is living his dream and now gives back to communities through motivational speaking. He continues to inspire others around him and we look forward to following his next amazing Journey.
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