Robert DeLaurentis, the “Zen Pilot”, is a noted aviation speaker and author of two books, “Flying Thru Life” and “Zen Pilot”. 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.
He has recently circumnavigated the earth for the second time. The first time he flew along the equator, this time around he decided to go from pole to pole.
Flying through life🛫
About 5 years ago, Robert decided to spend his time writing, lecturing, and giving back to the aviation world. He has been thankful for his success in the real estate business as a landlord, along with everything else that came into his life, which inspired him to write the book “Flying through life”. The book talks about the 19 spiritual concepts he used in his business and allowed him to purchase an aircraft, called “The spirit of SanDiego”, his first plane that he took on an equatorial circumnavigation around the earth in 2015.
Want to hear more about Robert's inspiring journey when he flew along the equator? Check out The Pilot Talk Podcast episode together with Robert DeLaurentis by clicking on the play button below.
Robert DeLaurentis had a dream to circumnavigate the earth in a single-engine piston plane. Meant to be the ultimate test of his flying skills as a pilot, the journey took him to the ends of the earth and over some of the most unfavorable area on the planet. He prepared himself and his plane, the “Spirit of San Diego,” for the journey.
“I was rocketing toward the ground in an aircraft loaded with high-octane aviation fuel. All I could do was negotiate where the impact would happen.”
Having previously flown to many far places, he thought he knew what to expect. But reality does not always make for the best co-pilot. What began as a call to adventure turned into a soul-defining mission riddled with equipment failure, fierce weather, foreign bureaucratic nightmares, and nearly ended in a crash into the vast Pacific Ocean.
Robert DeLaurentis with his book "Zen Pilot"
This stretched his limits, tested his mental strength and defined him. Beaten down, broken and discouraged, he found that the only way to survive was to surrender to the Universe. This experience inspired him to create the book "Zen Pilot", sharing the insights he gained for overcoming paralyzing fear, defeating obstacles, and confronting any situation with grace and ease. Robert's extraordinary journey shows us what it takes to be a Zen Pilot.
Pole-to-Pole circumnavigation during a world pandemic
After having flown 26 000 miles, crossed 22 countries and six continents, Robert has just recently completed his pole-to-pole circumnavigation that started in November 16th and took him about 9 months.
During his pole-to-pole journey, he set multiple first-time aviation innovation records including:
- Successfully used biofuels over the North and South poles for the first time ever
- Longest distance flown in a twin or single engine turboprop—17.5 hours
- First and fastest Polar circumnavigation of the planet in a twin or single engine turboprop
- First testing for plastic microfibers across the globe including over the South and North poles
- First testing of NASA WaferScale Spaceship outside of Santa Barbara
Robert DeLaurentis next to his airplane "Citizen of the World"
“I took the biggest chance of my life with this Pole to Pole peace mission,” said DeLaurentis. “It was certainly the riskiest flight I ever set out on, with more opportunities for failure than I’d ever experienced. Add in a coronavirus pandemic that was not on the route schedule and having to navigate different countries’ lockdown policies and count on the goodwill of people whose language I didn’t speak was daunting at times. But I learned more about what it truly means to be a “Citizen of the World” and the power of peace—both inner peace and peace between people and countries—than I ever dreamed possible.”
One Planet, One People, One Plane: Oneness for Humanity🌍
When Robert and his team started planning the pole-to-pole mission, which included flying to several countries and continents, they wanted their main focus and goal to be on seeing the similarities in people, not the differences.
After having completed his first circumnavigation back in 2015, he knew that this time the universe would present him to more opportunities and challenges along his journey that would test him and his ability to connect with people of different cultures and beliefs. For him, this would expand his awareness and growth so he could be of greater service to the world.
Robert DeLaurentis holding the "One Planet, One People, One Earth" flag
“There is a transformation unfolding in this time of uncertainty,” DeLaurentis said. “I’m optimistic and believe we are awakening to who we truly are. This is a time of rebirth and new beginnings for those who have felt trapped or stagnant. It is a global reset — not just on the planet, but in ourselves as well — and will bring us all together as one planet and one people.”.
Want to read another inspiring story? Check out our article "VIP Captain, Compliance Monitoring- and Safety Manager Therese Oswaldson" by clicking here.