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What does it take to become a pilot?
Robert DeLaurentis, the “Zen Pilot”, is a noted aviation speaker and author with over 1400 flight hours.
Robert has his Visual, Instrument and Multi-engine Ratings and holds a Commercial Pilot Certificate as well as an advanced graduate degree in Spiritual Psychology.
Robert completed a circumnavigation of the planet in August 2015 where he visited 23 countries and 5 continents crossing 12 oceans and seas.
This record setting flight in the Spirit of San Diego is the topic of his Amazon best seller called, “Zen Pilot, Flight of Passion and the Journey Within.”
Join us as Robert gives us insight into his inspiring pilot journey.
- Robert believes that most pilots are ‘born’ pilots and he had a fascination with airplanes and aviation since his early childhood.
- When he was a little boy, Robert graduated from building models to flying string controlled, gas powered aircraft to radio controlled airplanes.
- Although the passion of becoming a pilot burned within, Robert would have to wait until he was 46 years old until he finally had the time and resources to become a pilot.
Initial Training Challenges
- Robert’s biggest initial training challenge was talking on the radio! The thought of keying the mic and everyone upto 75 miles away on the same frequency would be able to hear him was terrifying.
- Robert got over this fear with practice, practice and more practice. Also by knowing that ‘this’ was something he wanted to do and that to achieve the goal to be a pilot, he would have to overcome this fear.
- Robert also recommends that if you are not sure what (pilot phraseology) to say, then just say what you want to say in plain words, and communicate. As time goes on you will adjust to the correct phraseology the more you are exposed to it.
The Aircraft Types
- Cessna 152
- Cessna 210
- Cirrus SR22(T)
- BeechCraft Duchess
- Cessna 182
- Beechcraft Bonanza
- Piper Aztec
- Diamond DA20
- Diamond DA42
- Piper Malibu Mirage – The Spirit Of San Diego
Best Flying Advice
- “No matter how bad it gets, never give up”
- Robert’s flying journey started with the encouragement from his spiritual and business mentor at the time who was also learning to fly. They bought joint ownership in a Cessna 182, however the 182 proved to big and fast to learn on which ‘spooked’ Robert and training ceased.
- The love of aviation was re-kindled after a flight with a friend in a Beechcraft Bonanza and Robert restarted his training.
- After earning his PPL certificate, Robert continued his training acquiring his Instrument, Multi-Engine ratings and earning his Commercial Pilot certificate.
- Earned an advanced graduate degree in Spiritual Psychology. Set the intention to achieve the ‘Impossible Dream’ to fly an aircraft to Italy which was later upgraded to circumnavigate the world!
- Acquired the Piper Malibu Mirage which is later named The Spirit Of San Diego which becomes Robert’s trusty steed to carry him around the world.
- Robert has successfully flown himself to 30 countries around the globe. Some of the destinations included countries in Europe, Central America, Southern Africa, Asia (including Siberia), and the Caribbean. He has flown solo across the Polar Ice Cap, the North Atlantic Ocean, Bering Sea and the Gulf of Mexico.
- The Spirit Of San Diego with Robert as the pilot circumnavigates the world in August 2015 where he visited 23 countries and 5 continents crossing 12 oceans and seas.
- Robert is promoting the Flying Thru Life organisation is to help give flight to people’s impossibly big dreams and make general aviation available to aspiring pilots of all ages.
- This is achieved by globally showcasing the latest aviation technology, lecturing and writing articles and books that make flying safer and less expensive to pilots and raising money for charitable causes that support aviation education, safety, and innovation.
Proudest Flying Moment
- The proclamation by the city of San Diego & the City Council which locked a day into history that signifies the journey around the world, The Spirit Of San Diego, the aircraft and highlighting the source of what drives us everyday.
Future Plans & Aspirations
- Robert is planning a new adventure, a pole to pole trip, flying from the South Pole to the North Pole in a Gulfstream Turbo Commander
Flying Internet Resource
- AOPA.org: Aircraft Owners & Pilot Association website.
Best Aviation Books
- The Spirit of St. Louis by Charles A Lindbergh
The classic, bestselling, Pulitzer Prize-winning account of Charles A. Lindbergh’s historic transatlantic flight
Favourite Cockpit Gadget
- The iPad by Apple
Check Out Robert’s Top 3 iPad Apps Here:
Robert’s Website: http://flyingthrulife.com/
Check out Robert’s book “Zen Pilot, Flight of Passion and the Journey Within.” on Amazon