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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

All about the Nigerian, first African, who flew solo round world

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Source: www.transcend.ng


  • lola-fam1

Lola is many things including a husband, father, son to proud parents, brother to two siblings, a loyal friend to many, an adviser, a business analyst. He is also a keen adventurer who sees any challenge as an opportunity and is an avid lover of motor and quad bikes, bicycles and boats but his greatest passion lies in the skies.

Lola Odujinrin
Lola Odujinrin

As a young boy, Lola looked up to his uncle who was a commercial pilot and went flying with him during an era when sitting in the flight deck was not an issue. It wasn’t long after that Lola realised his calling was actually to be an airline pilot. He started having dreams of one day being able to fly around the world- the passion and desire grew with every passing day and he began to tell his family that he wanted to be a pilot.

Lola knew that if he was to make this dream a reality, he would have to work his socks off and from the age of 15, began to save earnestly to achieve this dream. He worked two jobs while studying for his A’ levels and at age 20 he qualified for his Private Pilot License (PPL) in just 19 days in April 1999. However Lola had to put his dream on hold to be able to handle the obstacles of trying to make a living in the UK.

Lola Odujinrin
Lola Odujinrin

After a particularly ‘bad day’ in the office, mostly spent watching airplanes take off and land in his offices near Heathrow, Lola decided he needed to revive his passion for flying. Lola dug out his PPL certificate, discussed with Cynthia who was and has always been his equal partner and decided to put all his efforts into flying. Lola took out a loan and enrolled in distance learning for the “ATPL Ground School” and eventually qualified as a Commercial Pilot in 2010.
In 2011, Lola secured a job as an airline pilot and has since been flying a Boeing 737-NG till date. All of these stood him in good stead to build the practice and belief needed to achieve his vision of a solo flight round the world. Fast forward to 2016, Lola is approaching this pending trip, with the wide-eyed delight of that little boy who was so fortunate to go on a flight so early on in his life with his pilot uncle. It is Lola’s hope that completing this journey will light a similar passion in at least one young person  in Africa, that

nothing is impossible if you have a vision and act with purpose.

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