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Photo by AOPA


The one-eyed pilot, Shinji Maeda, is now planning on a new mission in 2025 to once again take to the skies of Japan. Shinji last flew over Japan in 2021 During “The Earthrounder Mission”; his solo circumnavigation of the globe in a single-engine aircraft.

This flight will occur on the 80th anniversary of the end of World War II when two 1962/3 Beechcraft P35 single engine aircraft fly the Great Circle route via the arctic to Japan. Flying in formation, they will represent the unique friendship that has grown between the United States and Japan. Adrian Eichorn of Fly Blue Horizons will pilot his aircraft “Gina”(N1733G) and the other aircraft will be “Lucy”(N9787Y), piloted by one eyed pilot - Shinji. Both aircraft are veterans of Earthrounder solo missions and Adrian has flown Gina from Iceland to Fairbanks, Alaska, over the North Pole. 

Shinji and Adrian will head for Japan together to symbolize the friendship between Japan and the United States, and to express gratitude to those who contributed to the advancement of aviation in both countries.

*The schedules and details of the route are to be determined in 2024.


Our mission isn't over until he returns to Japan again.

Out of the 18 countries Shinji landed in during his Earthrounder flight in 2021, the only country that denied his entry, ironically, was his homeland of Japan. Despite having the proper entry visa COVID-19 vaccination, and PCR test results, he was only granted permission for refueling stops in Naha and Chitose. These harsh decisions deeply saddened Shinji, his family, and his supporters. Especially, seeing his mom behind the security fence was the toughest moment during this mission flight. His supporters suggested that his mission wasn’t over until he returned to freely fly to promote hope and encourage anyone unsure of their dreams. The plan for the Japan & USA Friendship Flight was set into action to bring the Earthrounder Flight 2021 to its conclusion.

 Family reunion behind the fence in Japan

Shinji landed in Okinawa, Japan 


Beyond STEM!!

This flight relies on "beyond" STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) skills and planning, has well established airports and routing, and most importantly it relies on modern navigation tools such as ForeFlight, and Jeppesen charts. While the Beechcraft airframes were manufactured a scant thirty two years after the first aircraft flew this route with only a digital gyro, our aircraft are equipped with modern touch panel of Garmin and Dynon avionics, GPS, autopilot, HF radios and satellite communications. 


Flying with his mentor, Adrian Eichhorn

Adrian has experience flying around the world in a Bonanza, similar to Shinji's "Lucy”. When they first met in 2017 (YouTube), Adrian told Shinji that it was too early for him to attempt an earthrounder flight and initially declined involvement. However, Adrian was moved by Shinji's continued determination in the face of the obstacles he faced. Adrian provided full support for the 2021 Earthrounder mission flight, passing on his knowledge and expertise, and guiding him to success. Adrian became a mentor for Shinji, transcending differences in their cultural background and language. Through their shared passion for aviation, they became best friends and buddies, ready to take on the Mission Flight in 2025.

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How you can support our
Japan & USA 
Friendship Flight 2025

As Shinji and Adrian embark on this symbolic journey, we invite you to be a part of their mission by contributing to our cause. Your generous donations/sponsorships will help support their flight, allowing them to inspire countless more with their story of resilience, friendship, and the boundless possibilities of overcoming challenges. Join us in making this extraordinary endeavor a reality and fostering the connection between Japan and the United States!


Support our mission by donating, no matter the amount – your generosity makes a difference.


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