Saturday, March 10, 2018

Chris Unrau: Tragedy Inspires Pilot To Cross The Atlantic - Cessna T210N

"God only gave me one life to live, and I feel pretty strongly about making the most of it," Unrau says.


A local man is preparing to cross the Atlantic in a Cessna, and hopes the journey inspires others to live life to the fullest.

Together with his flight instructor Luke Penner, Chris Unrau plans on crossing the North Atlantic in a Cessna 210 in late March.

Unrau says the goal was born out of tragedy. After a brother and nephew suddenly passed away in a car accident, Unrau says he reevaluated his perspective on life.

"God's only given us a certain amount of days, and He hasn't told us how many," Unrau says.

Ahead of the flight Unrau has launched The One Life Project, a video series documenting the preparation and inspiration behind the flight.

He hopes eventually The One Life Project becomes a catalyst that raises funds to benefit victims of tragedy, empowering them to pursue an education and career in aviation.

Unrau and Penner are required to wear "goofy-looking" dry suits when crossing ocean expanses.

The trip will take Unrau and Penner North to a number of locations to fuel up, from Winkler to Hudson Bay, Northern Quebec, stopping for the night in Nunavut, before flying to Greenland, Iceland, the Faroe Islands and finally into Scotland.

The longest leg over water is three and a half hours, from Nunavut to Greenland. He notes any extended flight over water in a single-engine airplane is cause for concern.

To prepare for the worst, Unrau and Penner travelled to Connecticut in December for emergency egress training. Strapped into a cockpit simulator dangling over a pool, they were dropped into the water and turned upside down.

Unrau and Penner continue to plan for their flight across the Atlantic. "It's not as uncommon of a feat as it may appear to those not familiar with aviation," Unrau says. "But it still has dangers and challenges that need to be mitigated and planned for."

"That was an eye-opening experience, when you have water rushing up your nose, it's dark, you can't breathe, you're panicking... it gave me a whole new appreciation for how dangerous a situation that is."

Unrau makes the observation that the odds are stacked against anyone in a plane crash into water, "just because you're so disoriented and so confused."

"It really does take training to get out of that situation," he says.

Along with an array of survival gear, legally, the aviators are required to wear "goofy-looking" dry suits when crossing ocean expanses.

The pair has also spent months studying and researching the protocols and air-traffic communications when crossing into Europe.

In the end, Unrau says it's going to be a trip of a lifetime.

"I'm really hoping we can meet some interesting people along the way, and I know we're going to see some incredible scenery... we're going to be flying over the place where glaciers are born."

Glaciers are birthed every day off the coast of Greenland before floating into the Atlantic.


Follow Unrau's story on youtube at The One Life Project (

Original article  ➤

No comments: