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Peter and John have been friends
for years through their shared
passion for aviation and are also
cousins through marriage!


Though both Peter and John have
myriad hours of flight experience,
this was their first trip around
the entire globe. Amazingly, only 700 pilots have ever flown around the world and fewer than 300 of those people are alive today. This trip put John and Peter in unique and incredible company. Upon considering the idea of this daunting endeavor, Peter lightheartedly says that he thought, "One of the things I hadn't done yet was fly around the world!". 

Both Peter and John agreed that polio eradication would be the benefactor of their flight. Polio eradication has been a primary focus of Rotary for over 35 years and continues to be a major initiative. While the end of polio may be near, no child anywhere is safe until every child has been vaccinated. Ending polio is only a flight away!


Click here to donate and help end polio forever. 100% of your contribution will be donated to the Rotary Foundation Polio Plus Program and thanks to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, each dollar you donate turns into three dollars with their generous 2:1 match. Peter and John covered the entire cost of the flight and took time away from their careers and lives to help end polio.


John has been piloting small aircraft for over 43 years. He maintains antique training airplanes from World War II in his free time and is the proud owner of a WWII war bird aircraft.

He is a member of the Iowa City, Iowa A.M. Rotary Club and also served as District Governor for Rotary District 6000. In 2021, John was one of only three Rotarians worldwide to be awarded the 2020-2021 "International Service Award for a Polio-Free World" by The Rotary Foundation. Like Peter, John is also a member of the International Fellowship of Flying Rotarians.


John is now retired, having spent his career as CEO of City Carton Recycling, based in Iowa City, Iowa. John attended the University of Iowa and then served in the United States Air Force from 1972 to 1976. Two years of his service to our country was as a crew member on board an AC-130 aircraft in Thailand.


Peter is an experienced pilot and has been piloting small aircraft for over 47 years. He is a member of the Cedar Rapids West Rotary Club and of the International Fellowship of Flying Rotarians.

Peter is a Funeral Director and President of Teahen Funeral Home in Cedar Rapids, IA.  He is an author, and a mental health professional.  He was awarded the designation of Diplomate from the National Center for Crisis Management and the American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress. Peter serves on the faculty at the University of Iowa and is the founder of the Cedar Rapids Freedom Festival.


Peter has served in leadership roles on sixty-seven major disasters throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, Guam, Sri Lanka, Haiti, and the Darfur Region of Sudan.  He responded to the September 11th World Trade Center attack, Hurricane Katrina, Indonesian Tsunami in 2004, and the Haiti Earthquake in 2010.  He is recognized for his work on aviation disasters and is internationally known for his work in critical incident stress management and the psycho-social impact of disasters.


He has served as a volunteer for 19 years as national media spokesperson for the American Red Cross. He has been interviewed on Good Morning America, Oprah, Weather Channel, Fox News, the British Broadcasting Company and Aljazeera.


Peter is the recipient of numerous national awards of distinction that includes the National Public Spirit Award. American Legion Auxiliary. Previous recipients include Ronald Reagan, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Ann Landers, and Dr. Robert Schuller.

For a complete record of Peter's boundless volunteerism, professional accomplishments, and philanthropic efforts, please visit

Peter and John will be piloted this 1977 Cessna T210M single engine airplane around the world. They flew more than 25,000 miles over the course of three months. This included a 15 hour flight from Hawaii to California.

When the flight was originally scheduled to take off in 2020 (the pandemic sidelined these plans, pushing the takeoff to May 5, 2023), a Piper Lance II was the designated aircraft. With the reschedule and downtime due to the pandemic, Peter and John joined together to purchase this Cessna T210M.

The Cessna can go faster and fly higher - up to 27,000 feet! The Lance capped out at 13,000 feet. This allowed for a better flight route (with an additional 5,000 miles when compared to the original route), higher fuel capacity, and a safer trip.

There's more instrumentation on the Cessna, the aviation panel is more modern and redundant, and there's a door on both the pilot side and the co-pilot side, adding additional safety should the need for evacuation occur. More upgrades include heated propellers for melting ice and side heaters help to de-ice the windshield.

John and Peter can adjust the fuel mix to burn less fuel and control the fuel burn, depending on the distance of any particular flight leg.

The Cessna's seats were removed to make room for an additional fuel bladder. 


John owned an identical Cessna just like the T210M and has 28 YEARS and over 2,500 hours of flight time on it. His expertise came in quite handy during the flight.

The 1977 Cessna Turbo Centurion model T210M is registered as N732WP.  The Centurion is a single engine, high wing retractable landing gear, and all metal airplane. Dual flight controls are provided as standard equipment. It has seating for up to six occupants and a one hundred pound luggage compartment.



With the exception of the steel engine mount, the landing gear, miscellaneous steel parts, the cowling, and the lightweight plastic extremities (tip of wings, tail fin and stabilator), the basic airframe is of aluminum alloy.


The fuselage is a riveted aluminum structure. There are doors on both the right and left side of the cockpit and an aft cargo door on the left side.


Each wing contains a fuel tank holding 45 gallons. The standard fuel capacity of the Centurion is 90 gallons, of which 89 are usable. The fuel is Avgas 100 LL. The typical fuel burn of 17 gallons per hour allows for a 4.5 hour flight with a 45 minute reserve. N732WP has been modified with tip tanks on each wing, providing an additional 33 gallons of available gas in the wings.  A 165 gallon capacity “TurtlePac” fuel bladder was installed specifically for the flight and brings total fuel capacity to 281 gallons or approximately 19 hours of flight time.



Wingtip to Wingtip: 40 feet

Nose to Tail: 28 feet

Overall Height: 9 feet



The Teledyne Continental TSIO-520R is turbocharged, direct drive air cooled, horizontally opposed, fuel injected, six-cylinder engine with 520 cu. in. displacement. The engine has a maximum power of 310 rated BHP at 36.5 inches Hg and 2700 RPM.  The maximum continuous power is rated at 285 BHP at 35 inches Hg and 2600 RPM. The constant speed three blade propeller is manufactured by McCauley.


The 24-volt electrical system includes a 24 volt battery for starting and to back up alternator output. Electrical power is supplied by a 60 ampere alternator, and a 30 ampere back up alternator.


For ease of entry and exit and for pilot and passenger comfort, the front seats are adjustable fore and aft. All seats recline and have armrests & headrests.


Plane Built: 1977 in Wichita, Kansas

Manufacturer: Cessna Corporation

Model: Turbo Centurion T210M

Engine: Single

Engine Manufacturer: Teledyne Continental

Rated Horsepower: 310 horsepower.

Engine Type: 6-Cylinder, Air Cooled

Fuel: AVGAS 100LL

Fuel Capacity: 90 gallons

Usable fuel: 89 gallons

Fuel Range Capacity: 5 hours plus 45 minute reserve

Maximum Takeoff Weight (lbs.): 4000

Speed (avg): 165 knots/190mph

Fuel Burn (avg): 14.5 gallons per hour (Lean Of Peak)


Approximately 40% of the fuel for this mission was hand pumped from 55 gallon drums. Fuel Drums were shipped via rail, truck, and then shipped to the needed location.


Photo Credit: The Gazette

The Airplane

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