Multi-Continent Trike Flight for Charity Ends in Tragedy
By Dan Grunloh, for EAA.org
January 21, 2010 — What was supposed to be the beginning of a six-week adventure flying a microlight from London, England, to Sidney, Australia, ended in tragedy January 18, with the loss of the pilot over the English Channel on the first leg of the trip. British adventurer Martin Bromage planned the 11,733 mile flight spanning 18 countries to raise funds for wounded veterans. His aircraft was a 100 hp weight-shift trike, the P&M QuikR, which had a 38-gallon fuel tank and a range of 500 miles. As he approached the coastline of France his progress was stopped by low clouds and mist. Unable to find an alternate landing spot due to the weather, he apparently decided to return to England.
When contact was lost with his satellite tracking beacon a search began, but efforts were hampered by dense fog. His body was eventually found 20 miles off the coast of France, but the aircraft has not yet been located. He carried survival equipment including a life raft but a deliberate ditching seems unlikely. The tragic accident is a shock to his many friends and supporters who had expected to follow the adventure though his website and from videos taken with onboard miniature cameras.