When Peter Gorman and Essam Bishara left Newcastle, Ireland in Peter’s homebuilt Vans RV6 on October 19th 2011, they were uncertain whether their destination of Cape Town was attainable. Despite many months of planning, undertaking a flight to South Africa in a light aircraft is fraught with problems of war, civil unrest and logistics.
Their journey across Europe and down the eastern side of Africa reads like a ‘Boy’s Own’ adventure. Technical and Logistical problems were overcome through their tenacity, perseverance and above all patience. They arrived at Stellenbosch Airfield, South Afirca on 20th November after 63 hours flying time. Less than two weeks later, they headed north for home and another incident packed adventure, arriving safely back in Ireland on the 20th January.
The challenges of such flights may be different to those of the pioneering pilots of the early twentieth century, but they continue to demand high levels of expertise and skill from those with the ambition and daring to undertake them.