July 11, 2014 - Edward “Eddie” McCallum, EAA 1134927, of Longframlington, England, touched down in Oshkosh at about 10:00 Friday morning after flying his Flight Design CT-SW microlight here all the way from England.
Eddie departed Wick, Scotland, on June 11, and proceeded past the Faroe Islands to Iceland, then Greenland and over to Canada–where he met up with his wife and spent a couple of weeks before proceeding to the United States. His total flight time was about 55 hours, with the longest leg over water between Scotland and Iceland measuring 540 nautical miles.
He decided to make the trip to Oshkosh because he had flown to virtually every other European country in his 20 years and 2,600 flight hours as a pilot. “I’ve been everywhere–Greece, Portugal, Gibraltar,” he said. Eddie originally looked forward to attending AirVenture, but circumstances forced him to depart about three weeks earlier than planned. A Robinson R-44 helicopter and a Piper PA-46 departed at the same time.
“The R-44 turned back at Iceland,” he said, while the much faster Piper flew on ahead. Eddie made the flight essentially by himself. The airplane has a 7 to 8 hour range at 102 knots. He flew the Rotax 912S-powered CT-SW on premium auto fuel.
Following a fuel stop in Western Iceland, he flew to Greenland, but was forced to deviate south from his original course after ice accumulated on the wing and wind screen. He landed in Nuuk, Greenland, and later departed the country from Sisimiut headed for Canada.
While in Greenland, Eddie was able to catch England’s June 14 World Cup opening soccer game against Italy, and there just happened to be an Italian watching as well. They made a bet that the loser would have to jump into the frigid waters of a nearby fiord. When Italy defeated England, 2-1, Eddie took the plunge.
Luckily, that was his only brush with water–although he was prepared with survival gear including a full wet suit. Eddie was very surprised at how wide Lake Michigan is, which he flew over on Friday morning before landing in Oshkosh.
Eddie, who operates a construction company, owns a 600-yard grass strip. He plans to begin his flight home in a couple of days, and although he won’t be able to be a part of AirVenture, he’ll follow the convention through EAA.org.
EAA’s Tom Charpentier, government advocacy specialist, helped Eddie obtain a permit to fly into the U.S. by writing a support letter and following up with the international office in New York and the Milwaukee Flight Standards District Office.