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Solo Microlight Flight from UK to Australia Underway


British paraplegic pilot Dave Sykes is flying through Egypt after the second week of his planned 11,600-nautical-mile flight from York, England, to Sydney, Australia, already having flown across France, Italy, and Greece. The auxiliary fuel tank on his 100-hp P&M Aviation Quik gives him a range of more than 500 miles. The trike has been modified with a hand control for ground steering as he does not have the use of his legs.

Dave was seriously injured in a motorcycle accident in 1993, but he recovered and took up flying in 2000. No stranger to long cross-country flights, he had already flown 650 hours and 29,500 miles before embarking on this trip on April 29, 2011. He has been to Spain and France several times and flown over the Alps at 12,500 feet to Italy. The flight to Australia will pass through 18 different countries and involve over-water crossings as long as to 300 miles.

The journey is intended to celebrate the epic flight of famous English aviatrix Amy Johnson to Australia in 1930 in an open-cockpit Gipsy Moth biplane. If successful, Dave’s flight will set a record for the first paraplegic pilot to make the trip. He disassembles his wheelchair and packs it onto the trike for each flight. Learn more about his amazing story at Solo Flight Global, where you can read his daily blog and find his current location as indicated by his Spot personal satellite tracker.


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