Around-the-World Gyro Pilot Takes Hiatus
Flight to continue next spring
September 9, 2010 — Norman Surplus, the Irishman whose goal is to become the first autogyro pilot to fly his aircraft around the world, is putting the remainder of his flight on hold until next spring. In a statement on his blog, Surplus identified deteriorating weather conditions in the northern hemisphere as his reason. “…It is deemed only suitable to navigate light aircraft by this northern ‘bridge’ across the Pacific Ocean and International Date Line during the very briefest of summer months. By mid-September, the harsh winter conditions are again closing in and access to the region shuts down once more and will remain so until the late spring of 2011,” Surplus stated.
“GYROX’s various delays and associated adventures spanning half the globe during the 2010 northern hemisphere summer has meant we have had a very late arrival towards this gateway and we now feel it wise to pause before committing to the three to four weeks that would be needed to successfully cross these northern latitudes and see the aircraft continue safely down into the relatively warmer climes through Alaska and northern Canada. The fact that the days are now ever shortening, temperatures dropping, and the weather becoming increasingly more changeable has made the decision to pause at this point all the easier,” he wrote.
Surplus departed his home town of Larne, Northern Ireland, on March 23, 2010. On May 3, a hard landing in Thailand damaged his MT-03 autogyro, delaying continuation of the flight until early August.