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Surplus Success: Record-Setting Gyro Pilot Makes it Home
August 11, 2015 – About two months ago, we were happy to welcome Northern Irish pilot Norman Surplus and his MT-03 autogyro G-YROX, aka Roxy, to Oshkosh as he worked his way across the United States.
Surplus set out more than five years ago in March 2010 from his home in Larne, Northern Ireland, in an attempt to be the first person to fly an autogyro around the world. His inspiration for the flight came from his desire to raise awareness for his designated charity, Bowel Cancer UK, after he was diagnosed with the illness himself before learning to fly.
While his original plans called for the 27,000-mile flight to be completed in approximately four months, as circumstances—and the immovable Russian bureaucracy—would have it, it would be almost five and a half years before he finally landed back on the auld sod.
Surplus completed his epic adventure Tuesday afternoon when he flew from Oban, Scotland, across the Irish Sea, touching down at the Sandy Bay Playing Fields in his hometown of Larne. He was escorted for much of this last leg by a number of other gyros in a loose yet triumphant formation.
Because he was forced to ship Roxy across the Pacific, the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) won’t credit him with the full circumnavigation record. However, he’s already set multiple other records, including becoming the first person in the 92-year history of autogyro flight to successfully fly one across the Atlantic.
He was proud to display his winged EAA member decals on Roxy’s nose, and that’s made all of us pretty proud as well.