It took pilots Peter Wilson and Matthew Gallagher 121 days to travel 32,000nm around the globe in a Robinson R66. Their successfully completed journey was the first around-the-world helicopter trek to touch the equator in both the eastern and western hemispheres. The trip was the second of three planned R66 flights for Peter’s Three Journeys Round project and the first which used the Genesys Aerosystems Helicopter Autopilot and Stability Augmentation System (HeliSAS).
Peter had the HeliSAS installed after an inadvertent flight into IMC in the then-VFR-only R66 on the first trip of the project—a solo flight around Africa in 2016—and it seems like it was a big help with the journey. According to Peter, “…the autopilot made all the difference. It reduced workload and increased the safety margins.”
Peter’s third planned trip of the project is a flight around Latin America in 2018.