Saturday, June 9, 2012

Anger as Russia delays gyro flight


Norman Surplus, 48, from Larne, Co Antrim, who is bidding to fly around the world in a gyrocopter 

 An around the world gyrocopter flight for charity is in serious doubt as Russian authorities have delayed permission for its passage for 10 months, its Northern Ireland pilot said.

Cancer survivor and green entrepreneur Norman Surplus has already covered 18 countries and achieved numerous world records in his bid to be the first to circumnavigate the globe in the flying craft.

If the Russian Civil Aviation Authorities do not give the green light soon, his chance of crossing the Bering Sea to reach Alaska, the next stage after Russia, will be lost due to the short Arctic summer.

"There simply is no alternative route to use," he said.

"I have flown half way around the world through 18 countries to reach this point but Russia now appears to be very disinterested in assisting in any way to help me continue on this international world record setting flight."

The 49-year-old adventurer from Larne, Co Antrim, has already flown his tiny, five metre long craft half way around the world crossing some of the world's most hostile environments.

He has been forced to wait in Japan since late July last year for the Russian CAA to process his onward flight permission, an administration task that is normally supposed to take only 14 days.

He needs to make a transit through the far eastern region of Russia from Vladivostok to reach the Bering Sea and fly onwards into North America.

He said: "The basic geography of the planet means that the well established Bering Sea crossing route is the only realistic way that any small type of aircraft can hope to cross the vast expanse of the Pacific Ocean.

"None of the other countries, whilst presenting many varied challenges of their own along the way, have been so seemingly belligerent and stubborn."

Source: http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk

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