Florida pilot to attempt record-setting, solo around-the-world flight


OSHKOSH, WI – West Palm Beach pilot Julie Wang today announced her intention to circumnavigate the globe in a single piston-engine aircraft. The planned route will cover 23,000 nautical miles, mostly over the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans.

If successful, Wang will become the first Chinese to have flown around-the-world solo, and the first Chinese woman to have completed a circumnavigation in an aircraft.

Wang is piloting a Cirrus SR22 single-engine, 6-cylinder, 310-horsepower aircraft. She plans 17 stops en route, ending back in Addison, TX, in about 25 days. The trip is promoted by the Aircraft Owners & Pilots Association (AOPA) China.

Wang, a native of Dalian, China, has lived in Florida for the last six years where she is a Palm Beach-based flight instructor with 1,600 logged flight hours.

She said she never considered she would undertake an around-the-world flight when she began flying in 2011. “I had just gotten my private certificate and I had the chance to meet Chen Wei who had just become the first Chinese man to fly around-the-world. I had never dreamed I might someday attempt that kind of journey myself.

“But meeting him that day planted a seed in my mind,” she explained. “I told myself: ‘I could do that—I could actually fly around the world.’ After a few years I found that the idea had rooted itself firmly in my mind and just about one year ago I started planning.”

Jeff Chang, who led sponsorship efforts through Ulink (Youlian) Financial Services, and is himself a pilot and aviation enthusiast, said of Wang: “Julie is an accomplished pilot and instructor and has been preparing for this record-setting flight for over one year. We felt she really deserved our support. We want to be sure she’s got everything she needs to safely complete her historic flight.”

China automotive industry leaders Changan Ford Automobile Co., Ltd. and XCar decided to sponsor Wang as soon as they heard about her intention to attempt the record-setting trip.

“Zheng Wang’s positivity emerges from her undertaking and facing the challenges of the flight—unpredictable weather, long-time-island hopping, multi-language barrier, diverse custom cultures and so forth—and precisely represents the Chinese national spirit, namely, ‘to challenge courageously and break through constantly,’” said XCar CEO Zhang Jingqiu.

Wang, a former global advertising strategist, is an Airline Transport Pilot, a certified flight instructor and an FAA-approved chief flight instructor for the Part 141 flight training courses provided by Zulutime Pilot, the Stuart, Florida, flight school where she serves as Chief Instructor.

About flying solo around-the-world, Wang says: “It’s not about doing something extreme or dangerous. It’s about making good decisions with available information—a skill all pilots must cultivate—and perseverance. It’s also about showing that real accomplishment requires real investment. I’ve just passed 1,550 logged hours and flown 10 different models of aircraft. It’s only now that I feel mature enough as a pilot to undertake this challenge.”

“There are significant physical and logistical challenges to completing an around-the-world flight in a light aircraft,” Wang explained. “The real challenge, however, is staying acutely focused on the mission at hand.”