Boral’s Matthias Fuchs aims to raise between $150,000-$200,000 for the Westmead Children’s Hospital in Sydney

Flight path

Flying non-stop for 12 days on 16 flights might sound crazy. But that’s exactly what Boral chief procurement and risk officer Matthias Fuchs plans to do, and all in the name of charity.

On 2 November, Fuchs will take off on a flying marathon to raise money and awareness for cystic fibrosis – a condition that afflicts his 13-year-old daughter Kristen.

Over 12 days he will spend almost 200 hours in the air, travelling nearly 160,000km and visiting every continent except Antarctica. The trip will include six Pacific Ocean crossings and four Indian Ocean crossings, with Australian airline Qantas providing all of the flights free of charge (see route, above).

Qantas flying marathon 2013 068

“The challenge is basically to go for 12 days without leaving an aircraft or an airport,” Fuchs told StrategicRISK.

This is not the first time that Fuchs has completed the challenge. In fact, this will be the fourth “and last” time he does it.

“I came up with the idea about eight years ago to combine my interest in flying while raising funds for the Westmead Children’s Hospital at the same time,” he said.

To date, Fuchs has raised more than $560,000 for the Cystic Fibrosis Unit at the Westmead Children’s Hospital in Sydney, including $170,000 from his latest challenge.

Risk mitigation

As a risk professional, Fuchs is accustomed to assessing the risks and opportunities of any given situation. And he admits that this challenge doesn’t come without its own unique exposures: the risks of deep vein thrombosis, fatigue and infection all need to be mitigated.

“You’re in a fairly concentrated environment for germs non-stop for 12 days with 400 of your best friends,” he laughed. “On the last trip I picked up a stomach bug so this time I’m hoping that doesn’t happen again but I’m much better prepared if it does.”

To avoid deep vein thrombosis Fuchs has to inject himself daily with a blood thinning drug, drink lots of fluid and limit alcohol to about one or two wines a day.

Boredom is also a key concern, he said. So what does Fuchs plan to do for 12 days straight on a plane?

“I’ll read a bit, do a bit of work, watch movies, talk to the crew and try to rest,” he said.


Risk professionals wishing to donate to Matthais Fuch’s cause can do so here.