The end for some… The start for others…

As the first quarter of the year comes to a close (where did it go?!), the RBS 6 Nations rugby has finished… well done all teams for providing us spectators with an amazing championship and well done to Ireland, this year’s winners. The end of this first quarter also signals the start of not only planning adventures for some but also for those lucky ones, the start of adventures!

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One of Flying For Freedom‘s mentors, Dave Sykes is an accomplished microlight pilot who can claim being the first paraplegic to have flown solo from London, UK to Sydney, Australia (2011). Yesterday, Dave departed from York as he heads towards south towards Europe and will then turn north heading for the North Pole.

Dave Sykes route

Dave intends to make this flight solo and will be the first paraplegic to complete this challenge. From all at Flying For Freedom, “Good Luck Dave!” If you want to sponsor Dave, he’s raising funds for Martin House Children’s Hospice

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In a little over three weeks, four young ladies will be departing on the first leg of their massive challenge… to row from San Francisco to Australia via Hawaii and Samoa. I urge you to follow these amazing people as they set out on this amazing voyage in April; they are the Coxless Crew 

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I spoke with Laura, one of the crew a few days ago and the team are raring to go. They would value your support! The girls are raising funds for Walking With The Wounded and Breast Cancer Care

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 In May, Veterans In Action (VIA) will begin their 4,000 mile walk around the coastline of the UK as a means to help some of those who suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

VIA

Look out for the VIA bus and if you see it somewhere near you, say hi to the team. PTSD is not a disease, it is not contagious and you may well learn what some of these people have been through. Taking the time to talk to them may help them…  Please do donate a £1 or more if you can spare it, it would be greatly appreciated.

Until my next post, adieu!

 

 

 

 


Mobile Support

Having returned from Sweden, I’m leading the charge on trying to secure us (British Antarctic Microlight Expedition – www.flyingforfreedom.org) two winterised and Antarctic prepared 4×4 vehicles… There’s no way my 1952 80inch Series 1 Land Rover will make it across the continent, at least not without a massive and costly overhaul.

Providing our mobile ground support team with two vehicles, prepared for the extremely harsh environment Antarctica offers, provides a sponsor with a unique opportunity to be involved in this very special British expedition.

If you are in a position to support us, please contact me. If you know someone you think may be able to support us, even in some small way, please contact me. We need your help to ensure the success of the expedition, enabling our wounded pilots to complete their mission safely.

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Sweden to Goodwood

G-CHGA  G-CHGA Sundown

Our training expedition in Northern Sweden can be considered a success in many ways. Our team was almost complete for the first time. Unfortunately, one of our injured servicemen was undergoing further medical treatment so was unable to join us. As a team, we learned a lot about the aircraft and how they perform in particularly cold conditions. The coldest temperature we experienced was -17C, not as cold as Antarctica but cold enough for testing and training. Although some winter training has been completed, we still need to do more. Further training may be taking place in March/April, most likely back in Northern Sweden.

2 Man Tent prep

The Swedish people we met were warm, welcoming and helpful. Everywhere we went, the local people would say “hej hej” (hi hi). I don’t think I have ever been to a place where everyone acknowledges each other. It took us by surprise at first and I’m sure they don’t think much of us when we returned blank looks the first time we were acknowledged.

On our return from Sweden, several of the Flying For Freedom team were invited to Goodwood to meet one of our Royal ‘sponsors’, HRH Prince Harry. He can be seen in the attached image with (l-r), Flying For Freedom founders James Harris and John Laity, as well as one of our injured servicemen who is now a qualified Microlight pilot, Nathan Forster.

Since our return, we have been busy trying to secure further financial support, in particular for two Antarctic prepared 4 x 4 vehicles, which will be used by our mobile ground support team. Without these vehicles, it will be extremely difficult to provide the support out pilots and aircraft need. If you can help, or know someone who may be able to help, please do contact me.

(Main image HRH Prince Harry at Goodwood (courtesy of Kirk Watson), image 2 training microlight, image 3 ice runway, image 4 measuring out for tent)


Flying For Freedom

In the latter part of this month, the British Antarctic Microlight Expedition will conduct cold weather testing training in Northern Sweden. We expect the conditions in N. Sweden to be harsh and brutal. The pilots (some of whom are qualified and some whom are under training – both injured service personnel and support elements) will have their first taste of take off and landing microlights on snow and ice.
www.fly2pole.com gives more information on who we are and what we’re doing.
The microlight in the image, shows the version we shall be taking to the South Pole. We’re looking for you to support us in this Guinness World Record setting British Expedition.