Kolkata: Braving the inborn difficulty to read numbers and symbols, 21-year-old dyslexic Malayasian pilot Capt James Anthony Tan has managed to fly half-way around the world in a tiny, single Cessna 210 Eagle aircraft.
"I wanted to do something to inspire and motivate people and convey the message to youngsters from all over the world that nothing is impossible," Tan, a commercial pilot who has a flying record in North Africa and the US, said after arriving in Kolkata from Nagpur via Karachi on Saturday.
Narrating his flying experience, Tan told a press conference that he had moments of concern about sufficient fuel and weather "while I was flying from Russia to Alaska and when I saw frozen waves.
"It was a simply incredible scene as I was crossing an icy zone and I had to warm the engine with a heating device and hand gloves were not enough. Temperature was minus 30 degrees celsius," he said.
The Acting High Commissioner of Malayasia Raszlan Abdul Rashid was also present at the press conference.
To overcome his inborn difficulties, the Malayasian youth maintained a tracking system on his website which indicated the progress of his journey.
With a pilot licence from Australia and UK civil aviation, Tan claimed to be the youngest pilot to fly alone around the world in a single engine aircraft, besides achieving the feat in the shortest duration.
He said he has always tried to raise awareness about problems faced by children with special needs and motivate them to chase their own dreams.
Covering 6,400 nautical miles, Tan started his flight from Langkawi in Malayasia on March 26 and will return to Kuala Lumpur via Phuket on May 15.