Andreas Zmuda and Doreen Kroeber are adventure seekers on a flying mission to tour the world on what some persons are calling a flying motorbike. The duo made their stop over in Union Island, St Vincent and the Grenadines on March 17, 2015 after a long wait for perfect flying conditions in Grenada. Their fight over the town of Clifton on the approach to the airport left residents baffled to see what they are referring to as a motorbike with wings.
The flying machine is called a Trike, rarely seen in the Caribbean region, it is an ultra light aircraft built in France by Development Technology Aero. The aircraft is powered by a 100 horse power single engine and a 3 blade propeller mounted to the back. It has a wide range of electronics and safety devices including a parachute in case of an engine failure. The couple acquired it in 2012 for US$80,000.00. It is controlled like a hand glider using a shaft that is pushed to either side or pushed forward and backward.
The couple love story began five years ago when they fell in love deep in the Amazon Jungle. Andreas worked for the past 20 years as tour guide and organizer of adventurous tours in Venezuela and Columbia till he met Doreen on one of his tours … Doreen motivated him to go back to Europe. When they were back in Germany Doreen and Andreas was sitting on their red sofa at the apartment in Berlin, drinking some glasses of good wine and thinking where they can spend their next vacations.
They soon decided to sell everything and chase after a dream to tour the world in an attempt to set a first time world record of the longest unsupported flight on a Trike with the target of 100,000 miles. They are operating under the name Trike Globe Trotter.
Speaking to Radio Grenadines Doreen who is an engineer told us that she gave up her high paying job in Berlin where the new airport Schoenefeld (BER) in Berlin / Germany is being built to be in the air with Andreas. “At the time we were constructing an airport terminal and I left all that behind, sold all my belongings to be with Andreas” she said. When asked if it was the love for flying or Andreas she replied “I had no previous experience flying” so its Andrea. The only things they now own is the aircraft and a few pieces of clothing.
Their Tour started from Florida on July 21st 2012 then along the west coast of North America, through Central America, South America and then now through the Caribbean. The final destination is Sidney, Australia after going through the continents of Africa and Europe.
Andreas told us that part of their trip is to meet people in the different countries and experience their culture and food “meeting the people is most important for us because on the news you see all the bad stuff but when you actually meet the people they are nice, they want to live good, they don’t want to kill and flight” said Andreas. From their open aircraft they get an unobstructed view of the earth seeing the trees and getting to fly low over the elephants.
Funding for their tour comes from donations and also from the sale of books and movies, the couple publishes one book every year and currently has a movie out for sale “100,000 miles”. With multiple GoPro cameras mounted on the aircraft they can record their experience in 3D. This stopover in Union Island marks the 22nd country visited, their next stop is planned for mainland St Vincent. The aircraft requires perfect weather conditions for flight often times causing the couple to wait it out in each location.
Persons can visit their website to learn more about the trip or leave donations at www.trike-globetrotter.com. You can even follow them live via their spot tracker feed.