Ravinder Bansal

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Ravinder Bansal
Ravinder Bansal Plane.png
Born (1949-02-26) February 26, 1949 (age 72)
Known forFirst person of Indian origin to fly solo around the world in a single engine plane.
Spouse(s)Pratibha Bansal
AwardsUpstate New York Entrepreneur of the Year
Walter P. Cooke Award
Aviation career
Famous flightsSolo Global Circumnavigation July 4 – August 20, 2017

Ravinder Bansal (born 26 February 1949),[1] is an Indian American entrepreneur, philanthropist, and amateur pilot from Clarence, New York.[2][3][4][5] He was the first person of Indian origin to fly around the world solo in a single engine plane.[1][6][7]

Early life and education[edit]

Bansal was born in Ambala, India in 1949. His father, Dr. Chatar Muni Bansal, was a private physician in Kasauli, India. He did his early schooling in Kasauli before moving to Ambala to attend S.D. College. He completed a PhD in Mechanical Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology from 1974 to 1977.[5] While studying at Georgia Tech, he also learned how to fly and received his pilot’s license in 1977.[6]


Bansal was recruited by Linde and moved to the Buffalo, NY area in 1977.[4] He co-founded a medical and industrial oxygen concentrator company, AirSep Corporation, in Amherst, NY in 1987 and served as CEO until its acquisition.[8] For his work at AirSep, he was awarded the 1993 Entrepreneur of the Year award in Upstate New York.[2] AirSep was also awarded the U.S. Department of Commerce's Export Achievement Award in 2002.[3] At its peak, AirSep employed 700 people and had $110 million in revenue in 2006.[8] AirSep was acquired by Chart Industries in 2012 for $170 million.[9][10]

Bansal was awarded the Walter P. Cooke Award in 2009 from the State University of New York at Buffalo for his philanthropic contributions.[3][11]


Ravinder Bansal's Solo Circumnavigation Route

In August 2017, Bansal completed a solo circumnavigation of the globe in an airplane with a single, reciprocating engine, becoming the first person of Indian origin to do so.[1][6][7] Bansal departed on his circumnavigation from Buffalo, NY, USA on July 4, 2017 and returned 47 days later on August 20, 2017. He completed his circumnavigation in his own Cessna 400 single-engine piston aircraft.[12] His trip consisted of 36 stops in 19 countries and covered a total distance of 21,738 nautical miles with a cumulative flight time of 135.9 hours.[13] The flight required six months of preparation with his logistics team of Eddie Gold and Ahmed Hassan at GASE.[4][14]

Bansal, inspired by the passing of his sister-in-law to complications from breast cancer, set out to raise awareness and money with his circumnavigation mission for the Rotary Cancer Hospital in his hometown of Ambala.[15] As of August 2017, the mission had raised $160,000 towards the purchase of an MRI machine to allow for early detection of cancer at the hospital.[16]

Bansal was recognized for becoming the first person of Indian origin to fly solo around the world by the Limca Book of Records in its 2020 edition.[1] The State of New York Legislature of the County of Erie recognized Bansal for his record solo flight and efforts in the fight against cancer by passing a resolution on September 7, 2017.[17]

Bansal published a book in 2019, Cleared Direct Destination, detailing his solo circumnavigation mission.[18][19]


  1. ^ a b c d "Limca Book of Records Citation". Earth Rounders. 2017-09-19. Retrieved 2021-02-17.
  2. ^ a b "WNY Entrepreneurs Win Five Awards". The Buffalo News. 1993-06-25. Retrieved 2021-03-01.
  3. ^ a b c "Ravinder K. Bansal of Clarence, Walter P. Cooke Award". University at Buffalo. 2009-03-03. Retrieved 2021-03-01.
  4. ^ a b c Fischer, Nancy A. (2017-06-23). "Clarence retiree's solo flight around globe is a mission of mercy". The Buffalo News. Retrieved 2021-02-27.
  5. ^ a b Yadav, Yojana (2017-06-26). "Ambala-origin NRI to fly solo across world to raise funds for MRI machine". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 2021-02-27.
  6. ^ a b c Dadhwal, Sheetal (2019-12-20). "Clocking miles, touching lives". The Tribune India News Service. Retrieved 2021-02-27.
  7. ^ a b Schanz, Jenn (2017-08-27). "Local man sets record with solo flight to India". News 4 Buffalo. Retrieved 2021-02-27.
  8. ^ a b Franczyk, Annemarie (2006-04-20). "The breath of life". Buffalo Business First. Retrieved 2021-02-27.
  9. ^ Industries, Chart (2012-07-23). "Chart Industries to Acquire AirSep Corporation". GlobeNewswire News Room. Retrieved 2021-02-27.
  10. ^ "USA: Chart Industries Acquires AirSep Corporation". Offshore Energy. 2012-07-24. Retrieved 2021-03-01.
  11. ^ "UB Alumni Association Honors 20 at Annual Dinner". WBFO. 2009-03-19. Retrieved 2021-03-01.
  12. ^ "Indian American to embark on solo flight around the world". The Indian Panorama. 2017-06-30. Retrieved 2021-02-27.
  13. ^ Bansal, Ravi. "Round the World Solo Flight by Ravi Bansal". Round the World Solo Flight by Ravi Bansal. Retrieved 2021-02-27.
  14. ^ Das, Y P (2017-10-01). "RC Ambala's cancer hospital gets a flying Ambassador". ROTARY NEWS. Retrieved 2021-02-27.
  15. ^ Dutt, Ela (2021-02-27). "Around the world in 47 days, Indian-American from Buffalo, N.Y. raised awareness about cancer in India". News India Times. Retrieved 2021-02-27.
  16. ^ Fischer, Nancy A. (2017-08-29). "Clarence pilot's solo flight around world raises $160,000 for India hospital". The Buffalo News. Retrieved 2021-02-27.
  17. ^ "Erie County Legislature Meeting No. 16" (PDF). Erie County Legislature. Retrieved 2021-02-27.
  18. ^ "Round the World Solo Flight for Cancer Patients". India News Calling (in Latin). 2014-05-10. Retrieved 2021-03-01.
  19. ^ "Books". Earth Rounders. 2020-07-16. Retrieved 2021-03-01.