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Photo by AOPA

JAPAN & USA
FRIENDSHIP FLIGHT 2025

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 new flight will follow the historical route taken by Charles Lindbergh when he flew from the United States to Japan in 1931. This new mission flight will occur as a flight of two matched aircraft flying the route in formation to represent  Japanese - American friendship.

Shinji will fly with his mentor who is also an Earthrounder, Adrian Eichhorn- "Fly Blue Horizons". Shinji will fly “Lucy” the same 1964 Beechcraft he flew around the world and Adrian will his beloved 1964 Beechcraft and Earthrounder, "Gina" (N1733G). The preparations for this friendship flight are already underway!

2025 also marks the 80th anniversary of the end of World War II. 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.

WHY WE FLY AGAIN

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 

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Historical route taken by Charles Lindbergh

In this mission flight, Shinji and Adrian will follow the historical route taken by Charles Lindbergh when he flew to Japan in 1931. Lindbergh's iconic journey marked a pivotal moment in aviation history, and by flying the similar route, we're tapping into the spirit of adventure from back then. It's a way to honor the early aviators by challenging new obstacles and expanding our own possibilities, just like they did almost a hundred years ago.

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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.

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!

DONATE

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

BECOME A SPONSOR

Choose sponsorship for a more involved and impactful role in our mission, offering a distinct avenue for deeper engagement and shared accomplishments.

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