Saturday, April 12, 2014

Swiss pensioner flying around the world in plane he built himself is forced to land by Indonesian fighter jet and arrested at gunpoint after entering their airspace

A retired Swiss airline pilot flying around the world for the last two years in a plane he built himself has been arrested after straying into Indonesian airspace.

Heinz Peier, 65, was forced to land by Indonesian fighter jets today before being surrounded by armed soldiers at Soewondo Air Base where he was arrested.

According to his blog, Peier was due to travel from Sri Lanka to the Philippines when the arrest happened, and was not planning to stop in Indonesia.

However, according to an Indonesian Air Force official, Peier was on a ferry flight from Colombo to Singapore when he entered their airspace illegally, suggesting that he may have changed his route.

In the pictures he is surrounded by soldiers who point their guns at him while he climbs out of his aircraft before being taken away.

Peier began his travels in February 2012 when he flew to Belize, South America, using a red Swearingen SX300 aircraft he constructed himself.

Since then he has travelled almost non-stop for two years, taking in six continents - including Antarctica - visiting around 30 countries, and stopping in more than 100 cities.

On his travels he has toured safari parks, ridden on elephants, sailed around glaciers and even took part in a cycle race in his native Switzerland.
He flies solo, stopping only to refuel and take in some sights before jetting off again. He is sometimes joined by his two grown-up daughters, Celcilia and Bianca.

In his last post, dated two days ago in Sri Lanka, Peier says he is due to visit the temple of Kanda after staying the night in the Sri Lankan mountains.

He also discussed refueling his plane beforehand in case he needs to depart 'on a moment's notice.'

It is not clear if Peier is being held by the Indonesian authorities or if he is has been released.

Article taken from DailyMail

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