A PASSIONATE pilot is planning to put his skills to the test as he will fly his plane solo around the globe.

John Hunter, a trained engineer, aims to visit every inhabited continent in the world from the cockpit of his 1962 Saab 91 aeroplane between March and September 2020.

The 60-year-old has been flying for 30 years and is excited to embark on the challenge.

He said: “Ever since I got my pilot’s licence I joked with people, saying one day I would fly around the world. Recently I realised it’s about time I actually did it.

“The flying bit is going to be relatively straightforward. The bit that is taking the most time and effort is all of the organisation that goes into planning an around-the-world trip. That takes a lot of work.

“I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t think I could do it though. I understand the risks and know what I need to do to complete it.

“A plane of this make and marque has never done this before. It may be quite an old plane I’m doing it in but the vast number of aeroplanes in circulation are old ones anyway. I prefer old things to new.

“I have two sons in their 20s and they’re not too surprised to hear that I’m doing this. They’ve known me long enough!”

The official criteria for an around-the-world flight is that the plane must travel 23,000 nautical miles as well as flying through every longitude line outside of the polar circles.

Since the Wright Brothers’ first flight in 1903, only 77 people have successfully completed a solo flight around the world.

Mr Hunter is hoping to learn about new cultures as well as how aviation works in other countries.

He is planning to visit Airbus in Toulouse and Boeing in New York. Mr Hunter is also going to Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, where the Wright Brothers built their first aeroplane, and also aims to run a blog during his six-month journey.