Los Angeles to Sydney, Australia - solo pilot in a Cessna 172

PagoPago - American Samoa

Flying a Cessna 172 is an experience that most pilots have enjoyed when they first learned to fly. Flying a Cessna 172 across the Pacific Ocean is a challenge that most would think it is impossible

I am Oliver Florica a 46 year old Sydney Surgeon

I conducted this solo flight after a thorough preparation. All aspects of the flight were studied and covered to the minute detail. Recent night training and IFR endorsments or obtained on the particular type. A flight acros the USA was performed to test the plane and the pilot and fine tune the flight requirements. A special attention in the preparation was to equip myself with a sophisticated, lightweight survival gear which could save my life in an emergency. The gear was meticulously packed in a specially designed Nomex/Neoprene/Gore-Tex buyont, fire resitant and antihypothermia flight suit - multiple tracking device, GPS, VHF radio, radar detectable life jacket, life raft, emergency parachute, first aid kit, water and food rations, emergency oxygen, an entire range of survival accessories necessary for any emergency situation. In the event of emergency such as fire, structural failure or ditching I would only have to concentrate on egressing the plane as all the equipment was fitted into my flying suit.


The plane had 232 gallons of fuel with cabin tanks replacing the copilot and passenger seats, and providing an endurance in excess of 30 hours at rich of peak. A wide band high frequency radio was installed to provide long distance communication. I tested the plane prior to the ocean flight on a multileg flight from Grand Rapids, over Lake Michigan and the Rockies to Los Angeles, California at altitudes up to 17,000ft - engine parameters, oil consumption and aircraft and human performance were monitored.


Longest non-stop flight distance and duration overwater Hilo to PagoPago 2273nm , 24hours

Here I am safe and sound just arrived in Bankstown Airport, Sydney Australia

An extraordinary adventure that most would never imagine in their wildest dreams and no other pilot has ever achieved.

Over a period of a month, I bought my aircraft in Ionia, Michigan and flew across the USA and the Pacific Ocean to Sydney, Australia.

This unbelievable experience started with my first flight across Lake Michigan and over the amazing city of Chicago. Then Iowa, Nebraska, Colorado, Utah, Nevada into California. My first stop was at Lee Vining airport for overnight, then savoured the views of Yosemite National Park into Mammoth and finally arrived to Carmel by the Sea, where I spent a week having the plane prepared for the transpacific flight. I flew the little Cessna 172 then to Los Angeles to test the new ferry equipment and finally the long over-water flights to Hawaii, American Samoa, Fiji, New Caledonia and Sydney, Australia occured.

Terrifying Storm over the Pacific Ocean – hell in the sky - when the middle of the day turns into night

September 2011 - over the Pacific Ocean in "no man's land" - crossing through one of the most powerful and terrifying tropical storms - Cessna 172SP N5224A suffered two engine failures in the darkness of the storm but recovered and survived to tell the story.
Following this wild adventure N5224A was domesticated in Oz to VH-SIH (Sam, Isabella and Holly) and took my family to unbelivable places for many years to follow. Now, she is training new pilots in Archerfield.

Most challenging experience