Eric Guilloud
Eric GuilloudTwitter

Swiss adventurist Eric Guilloud, who was attempting to fly around the world in an ultralight aircraft in 20 months, has died after crashing his plane into a volcano in Ecuador on Saturday.

Guilloud, 62, crashed his two-seater plane into the Cotopaxi volcano and was declared dead after a failed rescue attempt, reports AFP.

Ecuador's Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) announced Guilloud's death through its website.

Guillod, a pharmaceutical entrepreneur, was on a journey to visit 34 countries, and had already covered several nations in Europe and Africa before he flew to South America.

Guillod reportedly took on the marathon journey to circumnavigate the world after the death of a friend in a plane accident, though authorities said his passion to fly dated back to his youth.

"His passion for soaring in the air dates back to his youth. At 23, he started hand gliding and won the Swiss Championship in 1976. And now at 62, he chose to fly over mountains and oceans from his ultralight plane," the DGCA said.

The agency said Guilloud's plane was big enough for only a few basic appliances and a small refrigerator for the 76,000-km journey that he had aimed to complete in 384 hours of flying, with 106 stops.

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