Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland man Norman Surplus reaches Pacific in gyrocopter trip

Record breaker Norman Surplus with his gyrocopter
Record breaker Norman Surplus with his gyrocopter

A Northern Ireland adventurer has successfully crossed Russia in a gyrocopter in an attempt to circumnavigate the globe.

Larne man Norman Surplus (56) and fellow pilot James Ketchell (37) reached the Pacific nine weeks after setting out on their 4,000 mile journey.

The pair set of from Popham Airfield in Hampshire on March 31 and reached Magadan on the Sea of Okhotsk on Wednesday.

It total, their route spans 26,000 miles and 13 countries.

It hasn't all been plain flying, however, as the pair were stranded for several days in the coldest city in the world, Yakutsk, Siberia, as they waited for the weather to clear.

The latest leg of their journey was a gruelling 800 miles long, but they will be facing even longer flights over north-eastern Russia before crossing the Bering Strait to Alaska.

Back in 2010, Norman Surplus set out to become the first person to circumnavigate the globe in a gyrocopter - a flying machine made famous by the James Bond film Live and Let Die.

It wasn't to be, however, after he was denied permission by the Russian authorities to fly over its airspace.

He made it across Europe and Asia before he was forced to stop, before regrouping and flying from the US to Larne.

Despite the setback, he still manage to set 19 new world records during his trip.

This time the Larne man and his companion are choosing a different route and are more hopeful of success.

Belfast Telegraph Digital


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