The trip, during which he covered 23,000 miles and 34 airports, raises $160,000 for Indian hospital.
Ravinder K Bansal, an Indian American entrepreneur has completed a six-week solo world tour after raising $160,000 for purchasing an MRI machine in Ambala, India.
A resident of Buffalo, New York, Bansal set off for the journey on July 4 from the Buffalo Niagara International Airport and returned on August 21, as planned despite facing unexpected technical failures with the plane.
He had stopovers in 34 cities and covered 19,878 nautical miles, or nearly 23,000 miles.
The mission had its highs and lows. The high being the raising of $160,000 toward his target of $750,000, and the low being the revelation that someone had hacked into Bansal’s email and set phishing emails to his contacts, asking for cash.
“I am making contact with people I haven’t talked to in years,” Bansal told The Buffalo News.
According to the paper, Bansal, who sold the medical oxygen therapy equipment company AirSep in 2014, spent $100,000 from his pocket on the solo flight.
The mission was planned after Bansal’s daughter-in-law was diagnosed with life-threatening cancer. He wants to use the fund raised from his aviation expedition to buy an MRI device so that cancer can be detected and treated at early stages.
Even though he fell short of the goal, Bansal said people still continue to contribute to funding for the MRI machine.
The Indian American’s philanthropic mission abroad his single-engine aircraft Cessna 400 on the US Independence Day. In the six week, he flew across England, France, Italy, Greece, Jordan, the UAE, and Oman and ended in India. He also had stopovers in Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines, Japan, Russia, and Canada during his return trip to the United States.
According to Travel Beats, Bansal, through his trip, also wanted to create awareness about breast cancer.
Bansal lost his sister-in-law, wife of his elder brother, to breast cancer in 2012. His father was the only private physician at Kasauli,
His sister-in-law, diagnosed with breast cancer, had to travel all the way to Ludhiana from Ambala for chemotherapy.
Bansal will donate the amount raised to the Rotary Ambala Cancer Hospital in Haryana, India, to purchase much-needed MRI.
Bansal took 6 months to prepare for the worldwide trip, during which he learned the basics of survival. He planned the route based on the capacity of his single-engine aircraft, and the availability of gas, air space, landing permit and visa.
Bansal is a Ph.D. holder in mechanical engineering from the Georgia Institute of Engineering. Throughout the trip, Bansal has been blogging about his solo flight, his experience and the mission on Raviworldflight.com.