‘Live the dream’: Strongville man makes solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean

Published: Jul. 26, 2019 at 6:13 PM EDT
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ELYRIA, Ohio (WOIO) -A Strongsville man who completed a transatlantic trip solo in his plane is back in Northeast Ohio after a month in the skies.

Peter Tapolyai took off from the Elyria Airport in late June, heading through Canada and over Greenland, crossing the Atlantic Ocean to Europe.

"Sometimes, it was a little bit scary, but overall, it was a great experience," he said.

While Tapolyai has been a pilot for a long time, this is the first trip across the ocean he's taken. He says it took two years of careful planning before the journey.

"It really is coming down to every day, I had little notes, that I was carrying in my wallet, what I need to accomplish that day," said Tapolyai.

He doesn't know of any other pilots who have made a trip across the ocean alone like that, and 19 News could not find any records of similar journeys by other pilots.

Tapolyai says he had a few close calls. At one point, part of his plane started icing over while he was flying over glaciers in Iceland.

" It was just, too much ice over the Atlantic," he said. “The Iceland glaciers were below me, so I was altitude restricted, but eventually, I managed.”

He's glad he did. He hopes his journey will serve as an example to others who dream of taking a similar flight.

“If you have the dream, live the dream,” said Tapolyai. “I mean, you live once.”

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