Award-winning actor and singer-songwriter Fakhr-e-Alam announced on Sunday that his Mission Parwaaz is ready for take-off and that he will be embarking on a 28-day journey across the globe.
Taking to Twitter, Alam made the announcement, writing, “Dear all I am happy to report to you all today that after 3 years of a lot of hard work and persistence Mission Parwaaz my attempt to circumnavigate the globe is finally happening. If I succeed I will become the 1st Pakistani in the history of the world to do so.”
Dear all I am happy to report to you all today that after 3 years of a lot of hard work & persistence #MissionParwaaz my attempt to circumnavigate the globe is finally happening. If I succeed I will become the 1st Pakistani in the history of the world to do so. pic.twitter.com/En2NWUX0FH
— Fakhr-e-Alam (@falamb3) September 30, 2018
Alam’s announcement was met with a lot of positive response and notable personalities from across Pakistan including Special Assistant to the Prime Minister for Overseas Pakistanis & Human Resource Development, Sayed Zulfiqar Bukhari and journalist Mubashir Lucman sent messages of good wishes to the actor-turned-entrepreneur.
Pakistan Today got in touch with Alam to learn more about Mission Parwaaz, the route he’ll be taking and what made him embark on this adventure.
“I received my private pilot license about three years ago in October 2015 from Florida,” Alam shared in a telephonic conversation, “After which I held a press conference in Karachi and announced my plans. However, due to several issues, which included sponsors backing out, shortage of funds, insurance problems and limited flying hours, I had to postpone my flight.”
“But considering this is my childhood dream and passion project, I was resilient and determined and all my efforts over the past three years have finally borne fruit and I am all ready to take-off for this journey of a lifetime.”
Sharing the details of his flight and route, Alam said that he will take off from Clearwater Florida on October 6 at 7 AM local time. From there he will fly to Boston, Canada, Greenland, Iceland, England, Croatia, Egypt, Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Dhaka, Singapore, Australia, Japan and Russia to name a few places, before heading back to Clearwater. The entire trip is expected to be completed in 28 days, given the weather conditions are favourable.
According to the mission’s official website, “A successful aeronautical circumnavigation of the globe has these requirements: a total minimum distance of 26000 nautical miles flown through all medians; use of only one plane (pilot cannot change the plane at any point of the journey); and pilot must start and end the journey from the same airport.
Alam will be flying the Pilatus PC 12NG, which is a five-seater plane. He will be accompanied by an aircraft engineer and is trying to convince his friend, who helped him source the plane, to join him in this journey.
Alam revealed that sourcing a plane was a feat in itself. He said that when he made his initial announcement, he had only 46 hours under his belt, as a result of which aircraft owners were uneasy about renting their planes to him and neither were the insurance companies willing. Alam’s current flying hours stand at 112, and though he’s only progressed from “nursery to kindergarten in terms of aviation,” he has been lucky enough to get a plane, courtesy a close friend of his, who sourced the plane from another friend.
However, Alam’s final goal was still far. Alam said that once he got a plane, he had to work to get the insurance done as the insurance companies were still skeptical. They eventually agreed but included a lot of restrictions and clauses.
Moreover, getting visas, landing permits, and other legalities in order also presented a challenge because of Alam’s green passport. However, Alam said that people across the world helped him in whatever way they could and he was every grateful for their support and encouragement.
He also added that he was ever grateful to the Air Chief Marshal Mujahid Anwar Khan for his support and encouragement. Alam said that the air chief went over his travel plans and gave him solid advice for his upcoming trip.
When asked why he decided to take up this herculean challenge, Alam replied, “If I successfully do this, I will be the first Pakistani to do so and will bring Pakistan’s names to the aviation books.”
“The world is currently facing a shortage of pilots and I want to inspire young Pakistanis to take up this profession because the country is full of talented people whose potential has not yet been tapped. I want to encourage the youth in the country to dream big and then follow those dreams.”
Alam continued, “My aim is also to present a positive picture of Pakistan to the world and show them that we are a brave and peace-loving nation and are no less than any other country.”
Alam added that he hopes to encourages the government to create platforms for aspiring pilots and encourage the youth to take up this profession.
Alam concluded saying that he will be making a couple of go-pros from his trip and will be sharing them on his social media accounts.