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Magnificent Norman Surplus in his flying machine on his way home

By Staff Reporter

Published 06/08/2015

Norman in his gyrocopter
Norman in his gyrocopter

A cancer survivor from Northern Ireland whose record flight around the world in a gyrocopter was blocked by Russian spies is hoping fellow aviation enthusiasts join him in formation flight as he crosses the Scottish mainland within days.

After spending the summer island-hopping the North Atlantic, Norman Surplus is almost home.

Six-and-a-half years of planning, flying and bureaucratic wrangling will culminate with Norman crossing some of the most treacherous ocean on the planet in his 5m lightweight aircraft from Iceland to the Faroes, the Outer Hebrides and home to Larne.

Mr Surplus (52) set off from Belfast in 2010 as part of efforts to raise awareness and money for cancer charities. Now he has visions of recreating the famous scene from Apocalypse Now as he covers the final miles.

"Let's say it's a triumphant cause for our gyro community to celebrate, not necessarily for my own achievement but for the whole aircraft type in general," he said.

"To be able to have a large number of brightly coloured gyros flying in loose formation together would be a spectacular sight. If only the weather can behave and make it all possible."

While his Atlantic crossing is a record of sorts, the refusal of Russian spooks in the FSB intelligence agency to allow him transit from Vladivostok to the Bering Sea and on into Alaska has left it bitter sweet. Despite that, Mr Surplus picked up nine records during his journey, another nine are on the cards and he is bidding to be recognised in the UK for a round the world trip, albeit with mitigating factors.

Belfast Telegraph

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