LEG #5: Landing MANDALAY - CHONGQINGMonday 30th March 2015
Bertrand Piccard left with Si2 this morning from Myanmar to Chongqing. This flight was one of the most challenging since the beginning of the RTW adventure. It was the second last flight before crossing the Pacific and his last flight before this great challenge.
Bertrand Piccard flew over the Himalayas, resisted extremely cold temperature up to -20°C, and manage the oxygen mask for 15 hours straight, while doing inflight interviews with China and French News TF1. Air Traffic Control was challenged concerning the flight path we had to use and this added to the difficulty of flying through the area. Our team noticed there were damaged cells on the aircraft and this impacted the battery level and energy available for a potential pit stop upon landing.
Bertrand Piccard finally landed in Chongqing after a 20-hour journey. Schindler and Sina welcomes Solar Impulse in Chongqing (China) for the first time, the world’s largest municipality in the world. Si2 was on holding before landing due to wind turbulences and traffic at the large International Airport. During a inflight briefing, the MCC agreed that low battery level and weather conditions weren’t favorable for a pit stop, so we will need to hope for another window for departure from Chongqing.
As Michael Anger, our leading mission engineer kindly reminded his team: “This difficult flight to Chongqing was a huge achievement for the team and this RTW flight. You are awesome!”