Solo Autogyro Pilot Reaches Central Italy
Norman Surplus at Larne, Northern Ireland, with wife, Celia, and his two children, Felix and Petra.
March 24, 2010 — Norman Surplus, an autogyro pilot from Larne, Northern Ireland, embarked this week on an attempt to become the first person to circumnavigate the globe in an autogyro. Surplus intends to visit 26 countries and fly some 27,000 miles, including 4,300 miles over water, over the next four months.
An experienced adventurer, Surplus is a cancer survivor whose credits a television program about the autogyro with providing the spark that inspired him to return to health and learn how to fly.
The Irish Times reports he was greeted by hundreds of well-wishers as he departed from Larne Borough Council Sandy Bay Playing Fields. He’s flying an MT-03 autogyro powered by a 115 HP turbo Rotax 914 modified to carry inflatable fuel bags that Surplus says will increase its range from 300 to 800 miles. That should allow for longer distance “hops” over the North Atlantic. He’s also wearing a special survival suit he had built especially for the journey.
Norman has had considerable sea rescue training and he is Second Coxwain (captain) on Larne’s Royal National Lifeboat Institution all-weather rescue boat.
The Gyrox team is using a SPOT GPS unit, which integrates with Google Maps so anyone can view his current position online. Surplus has a blog has to provide daily updates and links related to the trip. He’s currently in Shropshire, England, and will fly to Kent in the Southeastern UK before departing on the next leg of the journey – over the English Channel to France.
For videos, photos, audio, and more details about his trip, visit www.gyroxgoesglobal.com.