Slovenian pilot Matevž Lenarčič began his third solo round-the-world flight in an ultralight aircraft in Portorož on Friday. As all of Lenarčič's expeditions, the latest project will have an environmental note. 

As part of the GreenLight WorldFlight 2016 Lenarčič will help measure atmospheric concentrations of black carbon, a powerful pollutant that has been found to play an important role in global warming. After getting airborne in Portorož, Lenarčič will fly over 42,000 kilometres in a month. The longest of the 13 stages planned will take him around 20 hours at average speeds of 230 to 240 km/h.

As he circumnavigates the globe at an altitude of three kilometres, his plane will collect black carbon data.The data will be collected and analysed by a team of researchers as part of a study aimed at raising awareness about the impact of black carbon on global warming. The flight path for the expedition includes many areas where measurements of black carbon pollution have not yet been conducted, the team has said.

The project's aim is to make black carbon measurements more accessible. Efforts to conduct atmospheric measurements have to date involved large aircraft, making them costly. Lenarčič is flying a Dynamic WT 9 ultralight plane made by Slovakian company Aerospool. The plane has been fitted with special instruments to collect data on concentrations of black carbon.

Aerosol, a Ljubljana-based company specialising in black carbon measuring technology, has redesigned its measuring instruments it to make them smaller and lighter for use in the compact aircraft. While NASA is currently conducting research over the Pacific Ocean that costs millions of dollars, the GreenLight WorldFlight team plans to collect data over a wider area for ten times less. Almost two thirds of the costs will be covered by the team itself.

It is only in recent years that black carbon has been identified as one of the leading contributors to climate change. A product of incomplete combustion of fuels, it is a component in fine particulate matter which contributes to global warming by absorbing sunlight and heating the atmosphere. (By STA)

About the pilot:

Matevž Lenarčič is experienced long distance flier. He has flown for more than 3500+ hours all over the world, mostly with his ultra light airplane and other single engine aircrafts. He holds PPL - private pilot license with IFR - (instrumental flight rules) rating, night qualification, and ULPL - ultralight pilot license.

Matevž Lenarčič has graduated in biology. An alpinist, paraglider, environmentalists, photographer and a pilot, he has climbed all over the world and among others reached the top of 8051m Broad Peak in Himalaya and climbed extreme routes in Patagonia. He is author of 11 books (nature, photography, climbing and flying), some of them awarded and translated in several languages. He is also founder and director of Aerovizija d.o.o., company for aerial photography.

March 30, 2016 Driving photo: World Green Flight 2016

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