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Slovenia ultra-light plane lands in Antarctica

Slovenian pilot Matevz Lenarcic has been flying his Virus SW, an ultra-light plane made by Slovenian manufacturer, Pipistrel, around the world for over a month now.

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Slovenian pilot Matevz Lenarcic has been flying his Virus SW, an ultra-light plane made by Slovenian manufacturer, Pipistrel, around the world for over a month now. He intends to circle the world with the lowest possible carbon dioxide emission for a trip of this magnitude. On his way from Slovenia, a Central European country at the juncture of the Alps and the Mediterranean, he has already flown over the Atlantic, landed in North Africa; South, Central, and North America; and today (February 16) he landed in Antarctica, which along with Mount Everest, represents the greatest challenge of his journey.

Pilot Matevz Lenarcic set off on his journey from Slovenia on January 8, 2012. On his journey around the world, he will visit over 50 countries and fly over the equator 6 times, altogether covering almost 100,000 kilometers (62,000 miles).

Weighing merely 290 kilos (640 pounds), his plane, which uses a minimum amount of fuel, was constructed by the Slovenian manufacturer, Pipistrel, a recurrent winner of the NASA award for top energy-efficient planes. The Virus-SW914 ultra-light plane can fly 4,000 kilometers (2,485 miles) with 350 liters (92 gallons) of fuel and flies mostly at an altitude of 3,500 meters (11,483 feet), where fuel consumption is lowest. During the flight, the plane is able to perform measurements of black carbon, the greatest greenhouse agent next to carbon dioxide, in the atmosphere. These readings will contribute significantly to our understanding of the greenhouse effect and will be carried out for the first time ever in many locations.

In addition to being a pilot, Matevž Lenarčič is also an experienced photographer and, as such, is taking photos of the Earth’s surface from the air. A new monograph with an eco-note is under preparation – in it, he will present water in different forms of appearance. Matevz Lenarcic said, “We need to know the world if we wish to protect it.”

Environment protection and care for sustainable development is a priority policy in the tourist development of Slovenia, from where the brave pilot hails. It is a small, yet diverse country at the meeting point of the Alps and the Mediterranean, with unspoiled nature and extraordinary natural heritage. Green, with which Slovenia presents itself to the world, in addition to its commitment to responsible tourism, also reflects the fact that around 65 percent of Slovenia’s surface is covered with forest, which places our country among the top three most forested countries in Europe.

You can follow the pilot Matevz Lenarcic at www.worldgreenflight.com , where his team has been regularly posting his impressions about the journey and photographs taken during the flight.

For more information about Slovenia, go to: www.slovenia.info .

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