ANOTHER FIRST FOR BLIND PILOT
SYDNEY, Australia - A blind British adventurer touched down in Sydney yesterday to end an epic 13,500-mile flight by microlight aircraft from London.
- A blind British adventurer touched down in Sydney yesterday to end an epic 13,500-mile flight by microlight aircraft from London.
Miles Hilton-Barber braved snowstorms, freezing temperatures and torrential downpours during his 54-day journey under the supervision of sighted co-pilot Richard Meredith-Hardy.
"It's the fulfillment of an amazing dream," Hilton-Barber, 58, told reporters at Sydney's Bankstown airport.
"I've wanted to be a pilot since I was a kid. Now I'm totally blind and I've had the privilege of flying more than halfway around the world."
Hilton-Barber, who lost his eyesight to a hereditary condition about 20 years ago, is hoping the trip will raise $2 million for the charity Seeing is Believing, which works to prevent blindness in developing countries.
He took off from London on March 7 in a microlight aircraft, with the aid of an audio device that reads out navigational information such as air speed and altitude.
Hilton-Barber also has conquered Mount Kilimanjaro and Mont Blanc, run marathons in the Sahara and Gobi deserts and even attempted to reach the South Pole, hauling a sledge over 250 miles of Antarctic ice. *