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Global Flyer: Around the World in 80 Flying Days Kindle Edition
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- ASIN : B083HMSFFQ
- Language : English
- File size : 14370 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 243 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: 1,084,226 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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I came across this book by accident when I heard that my local airstrip at Insch had hosted Brian Milton when he had diverted there on the final leg of the first circumnavigation of the world by a microlight aircraft. Not being follower microlight aviation I had no idea that anyone had even circumnavigated the world in one. My interest piqued, I obtained a copy of the book via Amazon and started to read. Fortuitously I was also reading Sir Francis Chichester’s ‘The Lonely Sea and the Sky’ as I was reading Milton’s book and it was this that made me realise just how pioneering Brian Milton was on this flight as I could compare it directly with Chichester’s flights to Australia and across the Tasman sea during the 1920s and 30s
This book describes the flight that started in March 1998 when Brian Milton and Keith Reynolds set out to fly a single-engined weight shift microlight around the world in 80 days. The flight would in fact take 120 days (though actual flying would be 80 days) with around 40 days lost to bureaucratic interference – mostly in Russia where the flyers were detained for weeks and where Keith Reynolds departed the project. Other bureaucratic time losses were encountered in Japan – where private microlight flying was very much frowned upon, China and somewhat surprisingly Denmark which was obstructive when permission to land at, and cross, Greenland was required.
The early part of the book covers Milton’s search for sponsorship for this trip. As a London based financial journalist he is able, after a number of dead ends, to make the right contacts that leads to GTC Global investments (hence the title), one of the Lichtenstein Royal Family’s conglomerate of companies providing the necessary funds. Of course with the sponsorship comes a loss of control as he who pays the piper calls the tune. Struggles with various GTC Global’s requirements and personnel ensue. It is hard to tell how much of the personality clashes can be laid at the foot of everyone but Milton does have a habit of falling out with people. Having said that he is remarkably honest about his relationships and personal fears. In particular his own personal Djinn 1st encountered over India when he became the 1st person to fly from the UK to Australia in a microlight.
During the search for sponsorship Richard Branson was approached but declined whilst at the same time initiating a threat to put together his own Virgin team record attempt. This threat is a theme throughout the book and Milton credits it as a major factor in Keith Reynold’s decision to leave the project (along with personal differences regarding risk acceptance and female company) in Siberia.
Obviously the vast majority of the book is taken up with the journey itself which is a true adventure. The idea was for the route to follow, within reason that taken by the fictitious Phileas Fogg. The departure point was London in March 1998 and Brian would return, accompanied from the Orkney Islands by friends in their own microlights, in July (having diverted to Insch because of bad weather in the Cairngorms). The route was across Europe to the Middle East. Over Syria they were intercepted by a Syrian MiG and over the Saudi desert they lost the engine-cooling water leading to the need land several times on motorways to top up the water. Continuing on over India, Japan and into China the pair eventually ran into Russian bureaucracy at Sakhalin – leading to the split up of the team. With Brian and a Russian Navigator (required by the Russian authorities) continuing eventually to Alaska Brian found out that GTC global had been bought out and, citing ‘safety concerns’ as Brian was now alone, informed Brian and his support team that they were pulling out of the deal.
Without additional funds Milton continues his flight across Canada and the USA and eventually Baffin Island – Greenland-Iceland to Faeroes and Orkney. Encountering the worst weather of the trip between Greenland and Iceland.
Overall I found this to be an honest, warts and all, account of an epic adventure which, outside the microlight fraternity has gone remarkably unnoticed. I have seen one Amazon reviewer commenting that Milton comes across as self- congratulatory. For me he tells a good tale and given the level of the achievement I would say he has plenty to be smug about especially as the flight earned Milton the Royal Aero Club's Britannia Trophy and the Segrave Trophy, once held by Amy Johnston. Furthermore the Daily Telegraph once described Milton as one of the ‘Top 20 great British adventurers still living’. This book certainly gels with that assessment IMHO.
feel how much the author is padding himself on the shoulder.
He is for sure full of himself but the book is ok if you have nothing else to read