Friday, December 24, 2010

Seasons Greetings

Norman wants to wish all his friends and fans around the world a very Merry Christmas and a very happy, healthy and prosperous New Year.

Thank you all for following the adventure this year and hope that you will be there when it restarts in the spring.

Best wishes to you all.

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Consider Donating to Norman's Chosen Charity: Bowel Cancer UK
Become a Facebook Friend
Visit the website for more information
Consider Joining the Authorised Facebook Fan Page

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Friday, December 17, 2010

A Successful Show

Yesterday (16th December), Norman appeared live on the ‘Drivetime’ radio show broadcast by Chaine FM around the world via the internet.

Friends and fans were asked to send in questions and what was expected to be an hour long broadcast stretched in the end to nearly two hours. The DJ, Gary Andrews, talked with Norman about his reasons for taking up Autogyro flying and how this became a flight around the world.

Norman then went on to describe his journey stage by stage with questions from friends and fans being asked when they coincided with the part of the journey being talked about.

Norman was happy to hear from many of the people he had met earlier in his journey, albeit via a question received by email or text.

There were some light-hearted moments, like when he was asked about the use of ‘mid-air’ bananas, French chicken sandwiches, taxiing in a major International airport and whether he would do a lap of honour.

Finally, Norman went on to talk about the resumption of the flight next spring and the difficulties still to come.

The show was a resounding success and very entertaining and Norman wants to thank the DJ, Gary Andrews and his crew at Chaine FM as well as everyone who sent in questions and their best wishes for the rest of the flight.
Norman with DJ, Gary Andrews at Chaine FM Studio

It is hoped that a podcast of the show will be made available soon for all those who missed the live broadcast.

The Gyrox Team

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Chaine FM
Become a Facebook Friend
For More Information go to the Website
Consider Donating to Norman's Chosen Charity: Bowel Cancer UK
Consider Joining the Authorised Facebook Fan Page

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Sunday, December 12, 2010

Norman’s Radio Show Details

If you have your diary handy and would like to listen to, or even take part in the forthcoming live Radio show featuring Norman then please take these details down…

Norman will be appearing during the three hour long Gary Andrews Drivetime radio show on Chaine FM, live from Larne, Northern Ireland from 4pm to 7pm (16:00hrs - 19:00hrs GMT), next Thursday, the 16th of December. Norman expects to be on air for around an hour between 4pm and 5pm but if there is enough interest from around the world then his 'gig' will be extended.

Norman will talk about his flight and the adventures already undertaken and also about the forthcoming resumption of the journey next spring. He will also be answering questions from the public and this can include any of his fans from around the world.

If you have any questions for Norman or would just like to wish him well then there are a number of ways you can take part in the radio show.

Chaine FM has a website (click the link in the banner below) where you can send an email message whilst the show is in progress. There are also links where you can listen to the show as it is streamed live to one of three types of media player.
You can also email Gary Andrews, the DJ, with your comments and questions anytime before the show at

Click here for ChaineFM

If you live more locally then there is a number for your text messages. It is 80818 - start your messages with "cfm" then a space. Texts charged at your standard rate. This is not a premium rate number.

To phone the studio on a landline the number is 07541 605850.

Whilst at the website why not check out the history of Larne’s own Radio Station, a community run voluntary organisation. They are also working on creating a podcast of the show for future download; we will let everyone know when this is available.

The Chain Memorial in Larne from which Chaine FM gets it name.

Chaine FM also has a Facebook page where you will be able to send your questions and messages via their wall. You will find their page at…
ChaineFM Facebook Page

If your December is feeling rather chilly and you want a break from the holiday shopping then why not settle down in front of the radio/PC and join Norman next Thursday for what will surely be an entertaining hour of fun and reminiscing about the previous year’s adventures. He is especially looking forward to answering questions from his friends and fans from a round the world and asks that you mention which country you are from when sending your questions.

A reminder will be posted on the day with a countdown to broadcast time.

The Gyrox Team

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ChaineFm Website for Streaming Live Show
ChaineFM Facebook Page
Become a Friend of Norman on Facebook
For More Information on GyroxGoesGlobal go to the Website
Consider Donating to Norman's Chosen Charity: Bowel Cancer UK
Consider Joining The Authorised Facebook Fan Page

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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Norman Lights up Larne.

Last Friday, the 3rd of December, Norman was one of the guests of honour at the annual switching on of the Larne Harbour Community Christmas tree lights.

On a freezing cold night with snow falling all around; the first time they had had real snow for the occasion; Norman led the resilient crowd of spectators in a NASA style countdown before flipping the switch to turn on the lights.

Norman donned his famous red flying suit for the occasion and didn’t look out of place alongside Santa Claus and a large festive ‘bear’. In fact, to keep warm Norman layered many undergarments to keep the chill out and did vie with Santa for the largest girth.

The Red Suit Brigade

A great, albeit chilly, time was had by all who attended and hot drinks and food was a welcome finale to the proceedings.

The Gyrox Team

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Become a Facebook Friend
For More Information go to the Website
Consider Donating to Norman's Chosen Charity: Bowel Cancer UK
Consider Joining the Authorised Facebook Fan Page

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Thursday, December 2, 2010

Norman to Begin the Festive Season in Larne.

If you are in Northern Ireland on Friday the 3rd of December, pop along to the harbour area in Larne where Norman will be ceremonially switching on the lights of the Harbour Community Christmas Tree.

To get into the festive spirit, Norman will be wearing his famous red flying suit and will be happy to chat to friends and fans about his flight.

Another important date for your calendar will be on Thursday 16th December when Norman will be doing a live radio show broadcast. This will also be interactive and friends and fans from around the world will be able to ask questions or pass on words of encouragement via a number of formats.

The full details will be posted on the blog and other sites in the next day or two.

The Gyrox Team

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Become a Facebook Friend
For More Information got to the Website
Consider Donating to Norman's Chosen Charity: Bowel Cancer UK
Consider Joining the Authorised Facebook Fan Page

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Norman Recounts His Day at the Flying Show.

(Norman has returned home to Larne, Northern Ireland, after visiting the ‘Flying Show’ at the NEC, Birmingham, UK. He has written about his day at the show where he was able to meet up with aviator friends old and new as well as many fans of his adventure.)

"The trip to Birmingham was a fantastic opportunity to meet up with many of my UK gyro flying buddies. The first person that I encountered was Gyro stalwart and fellow “expeditionary raconteur” John Butler, who had accompanied me to Duxford for the launch of our Global Challenge at the beginning of the year. How appropriate that he should now be the first to pop up at the show to have a chat.

Next up, was a fantastic surprise in the shape of Les Shorrock who I had last seen in Nong Prue, Thailand, during the summer. We met almost as if it was quite a normal matter of fact, everyday occurrence. However, the fact we were now on the other side of the world and no longer dressed in shorts and Flip Flops (as of course, I had only ever met and known him previously while we were both decked out in our tropical apparel) was quite Bizarre.

What a truly international get together this was turning out to be.... another notable coincidence was meeting Alan Taylor who knew Jim Martin from Abu Dhabi very well. I had stayed with Jim while passing through Abu Dhabi and apparently left a (now) missing sock at his apartment....the partner to which I think must still be in my Flight bag in the Philippines....there may even be a photo of it somewhere on Facebook?

Norman with Alan Taylor: Part of the missing sock saga!

Various chats with a whole plethora of Gyronaught pilots (and would be pilots) followed, all wishing me well for the continuation of the world flight next spring..... I was particularly encouraged by the Northern Ireland delegations based at both Newtownards and Aldergrove, a good few of whom had now decided to give Gyro flying a go and had even signed up for some flight training with my flying instructor Chris Jones at Kirkbride in Cumbria. Gyros are extremely well suited to the often strong, gusty and turbulent wind conditions that frequently occur over our undulating hilly terrain in Northern Ireland and personally, it would be nice to (eventually) see a few more flying in my home skies, if only to keep “Roxy” and I company!

The new enclosed Gyro offerings gracing the stands of manufacturers Autogyro/Rotorsport and Magni really looked to define the future aerodynamic shape of our aircraft types into the new decade and even better news, both are now newly certified to fly in the UK.

Norman on the Rotorsports stand with (left to right) Gerry Speich, owner of Rotorsport and 'Roxy' test pilot in Thailand and John Hereward, the aircraft engineer who rebuilt 'Roxy' at Nongprue. This is the first time since Norman departed Nongprue on August 1st that the 'Roxy' resurrection team have been together in the same place! On the far right is Peter Davis from Brooke Farm, Lancashire, which was the first stop on the journey after Norman departed Larne back in March.

I also stopped by to chat with Phil and Katie manning the Gyrocopter Experience stand (or should that be better described as a multiplex entertainment centre!!)

Norman with Phil Harewood from the Autogyro Experience
who also supplied Norman with the Spot Tracker.

...and lastly (but by no means “leastly”) I chatted with the volunteers on the British Rotorcraft Association stand which gives us a great national representation and shop window for “all things Gyro” in the UK. What these experienced “old hands” would be thinking of the fancy new enclosed machines hot off the design boards of Europe would be an interesting conversation to have....but at another time perhaps as, alas, time was rapidly running short and I had to bid my farewells until the next international gathering, wherever that might be.... "

Cheers Norman

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A great day out enjoyed by all who were there and were able to meet and chat with Norman. If you did mange to meet Norman and have some photos of the encounter then please let the support team know at and your photo may appear in one of the sites online.

...and finally, the Gyrox team have been able to locate the photo of Norman's orphaned sock which is still enjoying the balmy temperatures in Abu Dhabi and it appears it has a new friend to keep it company until that day it is reunited with Norman's other sock!

Norman's orphaned sock. Thanks to James Martin for the photo.

The Gyroxgoesglobal Team

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Learn more about gyro's from the Gyrocopter Experience website
Check out the Rotorsport website
Become a Facebook Friend
For more information check out the website
Consider Donating to Norman's Chosen Charity: Bowel Cancer UK
Consider joining the Authorised Facebook Fan Page

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Friday, November 26, 2010

Norman to be at the Flying Show: NEC Birmingham

The annual ‘Flying Show’ is to be held in hall 12 at the National Exhibition Centre (NEC), Birmingham, UK, on Saturday 27th November 2010. It is the UK's biggest indoor show covering the whole spectrum of lightweight sport flying, from simple paraglider canopies to 'hotship' composite microlights capable of cruising at 130kts or more, and all with the great emphasis on affordability.

And…of course Gyrocopters will be a big feature of the show with Rotorsport, the company who taught Norman on autogyro’s and supplied him with G-YROX, having stand number 40 in the main hall.

A Magni Gyro at the 2009 Show

Norman will be flying into Birmingham on Saturday and will be appearing at Rotorsport’s stand between 10:45 and 14:30. So if you are already going to the show or can possibly drop in if you are in the West Midlands area, Norman will be more than happy to meet you, have a chat, answer your questions and have photos taken with you, the best of which will appear in the blog and on the website and Facebook pages.

Another MT-03 on the Rotorsport stand at the 2009 show

The NEC is easily reached on foot via Birmingham International Train Station or Birmingham International Airport and is close to the motorway system if traveling by car. So come along for a great day out and remember to head along to stand 40 in hall 12 where Norman and the Rotorsport people will be very happy to see you.

Check out the Flying Show website for more info
The Gyrox Team
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Become a Facebook Friend
Check out the Rotorsport website
For more information on Norman and the flight, check the website
Consider donating to Norman's chosen Charity: Bowel Cancer UK
Consider joining the authorised Facebook Fan Page
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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

New Facebook Landmark Reached

Today, Norman has reached and passed the 4,000 friend mark on Facebook. This is quite an achievement in such a short time and goes to show the power of social networking when mixed with a great cause and a story like Norman’s.

Norman’s adventure may well be the first that has used the power of Facebook to actually complement this kind of journey. Flying around the world without masses of corporate sponsorship and with no support teams waiting for him at the various destinations has meant that many times during his journey Norman has been able to rely upon the ‘Friends’ he has met on Facebook, to be at times, his only contacts on the ground in far away places!
Aviation enthusiasts greet Norman at October Airport, Cairo, Egypt

Some of these friends have turned out to be aviation professionals who have been able to offer Norman much needed assistance with all matters pertaining to his flight and then there are the aviation enthusiasts who are ready to offer support in any way they can, because they love aviation and are inspired by Norman and his flight. Of course, there are those friends who didn’t have an interest in aviation as such but were inspired by Norman’s story and have gone out of their way to be a part of it by offering assistance in distant lands.

Norman has been amazed by the way these complete strangers have turned out to ‘do their bit’ to help him on his journey and he has always spoken of how he never feels alone when flying across the barren areas of the globe because he knows there are so many new friends watching his progress.
A great reception at Jamshedpur in India

It is a great reflection on Norman’s popularity that when he departs a location there is always a sudden influx of new ‘friends’ on Facebook and it is obvious that they then tell their friends about this amazing adventure and the modest aviator undertaking it because there is then a knock on effect as friend suggestions start to pour in. This has been really obvious since Norman called half time on the flight, as nearly a thousand new friends have asked to join the adventure even though it is on hold at the present!
Norman's friends in Nongprue, Thailand even organised a Buddhist blessing ceremony 

This does mean that there is a definite chance that Norman will reach the 5000 friend cut-off limit that Facebook has introduced before setting off again next year. That in itself will be quite an achievement but with Norman heading off in the spring to traverse the eastern coast of Asia and then enter North America before crossing the Atlantic via Greenland, Iceland and the Faeroe Islands there will be many possible new friends who won’t have a chance to follow Norman on Facebook, or able to offer assistance.
Members of the Malaysian Chapter of the EAA were of great assistance to Norman in Kuala Lumpur

This is why we are working on a ‘Gyrox Goes Global’ page on Facebook that will allow people to follow Norman with no restriction on numbers. When this page is set up it will be announced on here and all the other websites so that friends past and present can check it out.
Many new friends turned out to greet Norman at Laoag in the Philippines

The present Facebook page will continue updating everybody about Norman’s activities as usual and friends will be able to comment etc. The new ‘Page’ will run alongside the present page with a much easier format for joining in, just click ‘Like’ and you are there!
Norman with friends at Woodland Air Park, The Philippines, before returning to Larne.

So once again, a big thank you to everyone who has become a ‘Friend’ of Norman on Facebook; you are all playing a part in creating history.

The Gyrox Team

         *     *     *
Become a Facebook Friend
For More Information Go To The Website
Consider Donating To Norman's Chosen Charity: Bowel Cancer UK
Consider Joining The Authorised Facebook Fan Page

         *     *     *

Monday, October 18, 2010

A Quiet Week For Norman?

If you had just spent the last six months flying a tiny aeroplane half-way around the World, facing many dangers, extreme conditions and interminable bureaucracy, it would surely be expected that on returning to your hometown in Northern Ireland, at a time when Atlantic gales turn summer into autumn quicker than in most parts of the British Isles, a few months spent sitting in front of a roaring fire enjoying a well deserved rest before resuming the flight next spring, would be on the cards…

That would be a normal reaction, unless of course your name is Norman Surplus!

Immediately following his return home there were not only the obvious media interviews and TV and Radio appearances that Norman was happy to do but there was also the debriefing of the flight so far. Miles of video footage had to be sorted and hundreds of images from around the world had to be downloaded from the many memory cards Norman has used during part one of the journey. Add to this the necessity to stay in contact with agencies and supporters around the world, who will become major players in the second part of the venture, you would think Norman wouldn’t have time for much else…

But…Norman, being Norman has managed to fill his ‘spare’ time with many other activities and here we have some photos of just what he has been getting up to!

First off…how about a bit of horseback riding. Or to be exact…Fell Pony Riding. Here Norman is sat astride Juno, one of two Fell ponies owned by his wife, Celia. It certainly is quite a difference to go from his 115 horse power Rotax engine on ‘Roxy’ to a one horse power mare called Juno, but at least his feet are off the ground again.
Norman and Juno

Maybe you would think Norman would get some rest on a Sunday? Think again…this is when Norman puts on his ‘maritime’ hat and takes part in ‘Sunday Morning Training’ at the Larne lifeboat station. As you may know, Norman is 2nd Coxswain on the Larne lifeboat and as such is very involved with activities there and can be called out, ‘on a shout’ at any time day or night.
Here you can see Norman (against the rail) on the larger Trent Class Lifeboat, the ‘Dr John McSparran’ briefing the crew of the smaller D Class inshore lifeboat, the ‘Hannabella Ferguson’.

Trent Class Lifeboat: The Dr John McSparran
Both lifeboats are based at Larne Harbour and you can find out more about this busy RNLI station here…RNLI Lifeboat Station: Larne

So how does Norman relax at home? Well, with his son Felix’s 12th birthday coming up it was time for Norman to show off his culinary skills by baking this birthday cake in the shape of a skateboard.

It looks delicious but maybe Norman should only have a small slice considering he needs to worry about the all-up weight for ‘Roxy’s’ take-off next spring!

And to round off a busy week? Slippers on, cup of cocoa, DVD and an early night? No chance!

It’s that time of year again where Norman and his friends take off for Biarritz in France for the Heineken Cup Rugby Union match between Ulster and Biarritz. And although the match was played yesterday (17th Oct) and Biarritz beat Ulster 35 – 15, the game is only a small part of this annual outing and we can rest assured that Norman will be smiling anyway. Check out the photo of Norman at the game last year and you can see that the enjoyment comes from being amongst friends and is much more about the event than the winning.

Add to all these activities the fact that Norman is back at work with B9 Energy Group, the company he co-founded with his brothers, and you may be wondering where he gets all his energy from. But it does show that come next spring we can expect Norman to be raring to go in his attempt to be the first to circumnavigate the globe in an Autogyro.

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The Gyrox Team

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Become a Facebook Friend
For More Information Check Out The Website
Consider Donating to Norman's Chosen Charity: Bowel Cancer UK
Consider Joining the Authorised Facebook Fan Page

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Thursday, October 14, 2010

Important Message.

Dear Friends,

it appears that you may have, or may well, receive a message from me inviting you to see my photos on a new social networking site called I can tell you that the invite DID NOT come from me or anyone at Gyrox Goes Global. We believe it was sent via a phishing worm and this means that if you sign up via my so called 'invite' you may have the same problem.

If you have already signed up, then it would be wise to run a virus check on your system to alleviate any worries and check that your system hasn't sent out any unsolicited invites to the people in your address book.

If you do get an invite from 'Norman Surplus' to join then please ignore it, it wasn't sent by me.

It does appear that is a legitimate site and by all means join it via their URL if you so want to but be warned that they need you to sign up with your email address and the password for that email address. This then leaves you open to attack from worms and viruses.

We are very sorry for this inconvenience and hope that we have caught it in time and once again apologise for something that was done completely without our knowledge.

On a lighter topic, there will be a new Blog post this weekend  with some new photos, watch this space.


The Gyrox Goes Global Team

on behalf of

Norman Surplus

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Why The Weather Had The Final Say.

Since arriving back home to Larne in Northern Ireland, Norman has been kept busy doing the rounds of Newspaper, TV and radio interviews. The mass of support for Norman’s adventure has been wonderful and he has been able to recount his journey so far and answer most questions during these interviews for the public to read or hear. But there is one question that is regularly asked and is apparently easily answered…’Why did you decide to put the journey on hold?’

The easy answer is because of the worsening weather in North East Russia and the Bering Sea.
But obviously this doesn’t really convey how seriously Norman considered this aspect of his flight and why it was paramount in his final decision.

Norman has flown in bad weather already; skirting large storms and dog-legging around the worst of what nature can throw up. But this was a walk in the park compared to what he would have had to face the further North he flew. For most of us who live in temperate climates it’s hard to imagine what extreme weather can be like and a quick glimpse of an atlas will show that North East Russia is quite green with only a small bit of blue water to cross into Alaska. But the reality is quite different.

Therefore, Norman has decided that the best way to show why he decided to not risk continuing into this area until next spring would be to use quotes and links from various sites that are experts on this region.

The Chukotka Region

The Chukotka region is the peninsular in the far north-east of Russia and is the most easterly point of Asia before crossing the Bering Sea to North America. It is renowned for its extreme weather and here are some quotes from the Chukotka website…

‘Climate of Chukotka is very inclement. Local old-timers say that one month in a year they have bad weather, two months – very bad and the rest nice – nasty weather.
In the winter air temperature in western continental parts of Chukotka often goes down as much as 44-60 degrees Celsius below zero. Strong winds blow in the eastern parts and snow storms can sometimes last for many days. Summer is very short, rainy and cold, in certain places the snow stays on the ground unmelted. Permafrost lies in the upper layers of soil and can be found anywhere in the country.’

It can be seen from this that even a summer flight across this region won’t be a joyride.
A valley in North Eastern Chukotka in summertime.
‘Average year air temperature in Chukotka is below zero in all parts of the region: from 4.1 C (Navarin Cape) to -14 C over the East-Siberian Sea Coast (a/k/a Raucha). However, the climate becomes more continental to the West of the most distant Eastern point, the so-called "Chukotka wedge", and although the area of the region is not significant its average temperatures vary greatly: in July from +4 С to +14 С and in January from -18 С to -42 С.’

And from the website ‘Angus Adventures’…

‘Winter in Chukotka is the most extreme in the planet. It is much, much colder than Alaska due to the fact that the prevailing weather comes from the west and chills as it moves across the largest landmass in the world. In central Chukotka temperatures hover around -50 for long periods through the winter.
It is the winds accompanying these extreme temperatures that really make the weather abysmal. The location of Chukotka between the Arctic Ocean and the Pacific creates unique metrological conditions, and frequently winds from 50-100 km/hr blast across the peninsula. Wind chill temperature is often below -100. The lack of vegetation trees and blowing snow means that whiteout conditions are very frequent.’

From this you can see that just the temperatures alone make Norman’s decision to delay the flight the safest decision.

The Bering Sea

From Russia to Alaska, crossing the Bering Strait, is only 85 km. Not that far you may think for Norman and ‘Roxy’ to traverse but as has been the case for most of the journey so far, things are not that easy when flying around the world. The rules say that you must leave Russia from a Departure/entry Airport and arrive at one in Alaska. This makes the crossing nearer to 200km and that is over one of the roughest and most dangerous stretches of water in the world, especially in the winter.

The Bering Sea coastline in Summer
 If you want to find out more about this challenging region and take a longer look at the sea crossing check out the following websites from which the passages posted here are gratefully reproduced.

It is hoped that these articles convey just how dangerous an autumn/winter crossing would have been for Norman and why he made the tough decision to put the flight on hold until the spring…

And Norman’s favourite quote about the region?

‘Snowfall can break out at any time during summer.’

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The Gyrox Team

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Become a Facebook Friend
For More Information Visit the Website
Consider Donating to Norman's Chosen Charity: Bowel Cancer UK
Consider Joining the Authorised Facebook Fan Page

         *     *     *

Monday, September 13, 2010

Norman Arrives Home

Norman has safely arrived back home to Larne, Northern Ireland and has spent a couple of quiet days at home with his family.

He has sent a message where he recalls the journey back and subsequent return to the ‘Emerald Isle’.

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The 3 flights home were considerably faster and less “busy” for me than the numerous ones I made on the way out to the Philippines! We had a tremendous lightning storm overhead arriving into Hong Kong and this delayed the onward departure by about 2 hours - we made up sometime en route to London and my connection to Belfast was still easily made (though with bleary eyes in the early (UK Time) morning. The flight conditions on the final leg, heading once again back over the Irish Sea, were excellent - very clear visibility and the rolling green patchwork quilt of fields below, that give the “Emerald Isle” its name, were spectacular, as always. Temperatures on arrival home were much more familiar for me (being measured in the low teens rather than in the low 30’s Celsius), though having spent close on the last 6 months in the Tropics, I had to acclimatise back to “normal” very rapidly! The conditions were actually very similar to the day I departed from Larne, way back in March, with a fair North Westerly breeze blowing (nice tailwind I thought for flying off South Eastwards around the world, though not needed today...).

I am now able to sit and look out over the local sports field where the journey commenced half a year ago and reflect on all that has happened in the intervening months. No doubt as the North Atlantic Autumn Gales set in properly over the next few weeks, I will be battening down the hatches against the wind and driving rain rattling the on windows outside, to begin the enjoyable, comfortable, task of reviewing notes and records to script a full account (in much greater detail) of how the first half of this fantastic Global Challenge has really played out...



March 22nd 2010 and Norman prepares to set off from the playing fields in Larne that he mentions in his message.

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For the aviation buffs out there, you may like to know that Norman flew Philippine Airlines from Manila to Hong Kong where he connected to the Cathay Pacific Boeing 747 flight to Heathrow, London, where he then caught an Aer Lingus Airbus A320 that flew him to Belfast International Airport in Northern Ireland. The whole journey time was around 23 hours.

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The Gyrox Team

Become a Facebook Friend
For more Information go to the Website
Consider Donating to Norman's Chosen Charity: Bowel Cancer UK
Check Out the Authorised Facebook Fan Page

                           *     *     *

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Norman and 'Roxy' Perform a Half-Time Show for the Cameras

With part one of ‘The Circumnavigation of the Globe by Autogyro’ now completed and whilst we wait for the imminent news of Norman’s arrival back in Northern Ireland we have been privileged to receive some photographs taken during Norman’s last official day of flying before his return home.

The photographs were taken during the GMA-7 TV shoot (link to the video below) by TV cameraman, Abraham Archangel Aguja Alegre…AKA Bambam. Besides the ground shots and fly-by’s, Bambam went aloft with Norman and was able to take the mid-air videos seen on the TV video.

Thanks go to Bambam for allowing us to use his photos and we have added a link at the bottom of this post to his full album on Facebook that has many more photos from the day’s shoot.

The camera gets close as Norman examines the nosewheel

Norman rolls 'Roxy' out of the hangar at Woodland's.
Pre-flight checks done and Norman is ready for take-off
A perfect shot as Norman flies low for the cameras.
Bambam prepares for his flight and learns how to do the 'Norman Thumbs Up'
The end of a great days filming

Click here to see the full album of photographs taken by Bambam during the TV shoot
Bambam's Photo Album

Click here to see the TV Video
GMA-7 News Video

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The Gyrox Team

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Become a Facebook Friend
For More Information go to the Website
Consider Donating to Norman's Chosen Charity: Bowel Cancer UK
Consider Joining The Authorised Facebook Fan Page

         *     *     *

Friday, September 10, 2010

Norman Becomes a TV Star

There has been a massive show of support for Norman’s decision to put the circumnavigation on hold until the weather breaks in the spring of next year. Most people realizing how hard a decision this was for Norman and how amazing has been the journey so far.

Over the last few days the media has taken Norman and his quest to their hearts and non more so than GMA 7, the Philippine Television station that run a very good video on their news show on Wednesday night, 8th September.

Here is the link to that article and although in Philippino there are some great shots of Norman flying and some great words from Norman and Tony Willis, the manager of the Angeles Flying Club where the interview took place.
Click here to watch the GMA-7 TV broadcast

Norman has become something of a star in the Philippines and following the massive outpouring of love from the general public in the Philippines for this modest adventurer from Larne, he can be sure of a warm welcome back there next May.

Norman gives his trademark 'thumbs up' and brimming smile following the flying shots for the GMA-7 news interview.

For your further reading we have added links below to some of the many News articles about the hiatus in the journey that have appeared in Newspapers and magazines around the world.

BBC News: Northern Ireland
Aero-News Network
UK Wired News
The Northern Ireland Newsletter
Ulster TV - Lifestyle
The Larne Times

And to show how touch and go the decision to delay the flight was, here is a link to press report from the 6th September detailing that the flight may still have gone ahead.
NI Newsletter

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The Gyrox Team

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Become a Facebook Friend
Find More Information on the Website
Consider Donating to Norman's Chosen Charity: Bowel Cancer UK
Consider Joining The Authorised Facebook Fan Page

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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Norman Calls Half Time on the Adventure

A few hours ago we received conformation from Norman in the Philippines that the ‘Gyrox Goes Global’ adventure will be taking a winter break.

Norman, in a philosophical yet rational mood, has released a statement about the reasons for this and positively talks about the continuation of the record breaking flight next spring.

Here is the statement in Norman’s own words…

Norman Surplus’s actual statement

We have to call “half time” on the Official FAI World Record attempt to First Circumnavigate the Globe by Autogyro Aircraft registration G-YROX.

This is primarily due to the fact that the very technically challenging section of the flight towards the Bering Sea has a seasonal time “gate”. Being so far north in latitude, it is deemed only suitable to navigate light aircraft by this northern “bridge” across the Pacific Ocean and International Date Line during the very briefest of summer months. By mid September, the harsh winter conditions are again closing in and access to the region shuts down once more and will remain so until the late spring of 2011.

GYROX’s various delays and associated adventures spanning half the globe during the 2010 northern hemisphere summer has meant we have had a very late arrival towards this gateway and we now feel it wise to pause before committing to the 3-4 weeks that would be needed to successfully cross these northern latitudes and see the aircraft continue safely down into the relatively warmer climes through Alaska and northern Canada. The fact that the days are now ever shortening, temperatures dropping and the weather becoming increasingly more changeable has made the decision to pause at this point all the easier.

The late spring restart will bring lengthening daylight and much more room for any subsequent delays (as I am sure there will be some - there always are!) or points of interest stop-offs en-route. The timetable will once again fall into line with the original expedition timings (albeit one year later) which will allow for a late May Bering Sea Transit and an early July Atlantic Ocean crossing.

Time then to pause and reflect on a fabulous “First Half” played out over half the world’s surface. GYROX has now flown a further straight line distance than any other autogyro in History crossing some 16 consecutive countries through 25 International Airports and taken in the delights of 45 different airports of all shapes and sizes from the 300m grass strip of Nong Prue, Thailand to the 3(!) active runways of King Abdulaziz (Jeddah) International, Saudi Arabia.

Broken down as follows

• Grass airstrips/fields 8
• Minor Airports 18
• Major Airports 19

So far we have made 7 major open water crossings of the Mediterranean, Red Sea, Gulf of Oman, Bay of Bengal, Gulf of Thailand, South China Sea and Sulu Sea.

Forward planning continues during the winter season while GYROX is safely stabled for a well earned rest ready to take on the milestones of next year including....

• Continued lengthy over water transits of the NW Pacific Rim
• First transit by autogyro of the very remote and logistically challenging Russian Far East, Bering Sea, Alaska and Canadian NW Territories.
• A record setting coast to coast flight of North America.
• Overflight of Greenland and as a grand finale - the North Atlantic...and Home.


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A Press Release has been issued to local, international and aviation media representatives adding the following information.

• Norman will be flying back to Northern Ireland in the near future.
• G-YROX will be stored for the winter in the Philippines.
• The flight WILL resume next year.

To this, the Gyrox Team would like to add the following…

• Norman’s Blog, Facebook page, Website, Twitter page and Facebook Fan page will all stay active through the coming months, keeping you up to date with news about the flight.
• We expect to be adding new photos to the various sites as Norman returns home with 6 months worth of camera memory cards.
• Anyone who has met or seen Norman during the first half of the journey can help us chronicle the adventure by sending us their memories, photographs and videos that they have of Norman and G-YROX. (you will be credited if your content is used)
• Norman has listed the proposed route for next year’s ‘second half’ of the flight and we are looking for members of the public, enthusiasts and members of the aviation community who may live or work along his route who are able to offer assistance in any way to Norman when he flies into your town next year.

It is safe to say that a man of Norman’s resilience will be raring to go come next spring and we hope that all his fans will be there again spurring him on.

Thank you

The Gyrox Goes Global Team

Here is a quick reminder of the story so far…

March 22nd 2010 and Norman leaves Larne at the start of his adventure

April 5th and Norman prepares to leave Kythira in Crete to fly to a new continent: Africa

Norman has seen some amazing sights, including the Great Pyramids at Giza
The 'out of the ordinary' became 'normal' for Norman. For example, landing in the Saudi Arabian desert to refuel!
August 3rd 2010 and Norman arrives at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and is greeted by members of the Malaysian EAA
Norman prepares to restart his journey and 'Roxy' gets a good luck blessing from a Buddhist monk at Nongprue.
Halfway and 'Roxy' will be in the safe hands of the Angeles City Flying Club at Woodland Air Park until Norman returns to continue the flight of a lifetime.

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Become a Facebook Friend
For More Information go to the Website
Consider Donating to Norman's Chosen Charity: Bowel Cancer UK
Follow Norman and G-YROX Live on the Spot Tracker
Consider Joining The Authorised Facebook Fan Page
Find out more about The Angeles City Flying Club and Woodland Air Park

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Saturday, August 28, 2010

Norman Experiences Storms and Triffids

Norman has sent an update about his day to day activities during his stay at Woodland Air Park near Angeles City on the island of Luzon in the Philippines. He has talked about the never-ending writing of emails and endless phone calls to the different agencies coordinating with him in his efforts to get the paperwork sorted out to enable the continuance of his journey, and of course the infinite waiting around for replies.

Norman’s stay at Woodland’s was exasperated by a massive electrical storm a few days ago that knocked out all the power to the region, leaving him without internet access and more importantly…air conditioning! A sticky situation only alleviated by having regular cold showers through the oppressive heat of the night.

This stormy scenario may have been on Norman’s mind as he flew towards Woodland Air Park last week after leaving Laoag, as can be seen from this photo of the gathering storm systems taken by Norman en-route.

(Time to be on the ground)
Norman did have a break from the frustrations of bureaucracy and managed to visit the nearby Clark Air Base. A major US base from 1903 until the USAF departed in 1991. It played a pivotal part in World War 2 and was a major base for operations during the Viet Nam conflict.

Below is a photo of Family housing for US military personnel at Clark AB during the 70’s and is included as a comparison to the photo taken by Norman on his visit.
(Family Housing 1970's Style)
Norman now tells us in his own words about his visit to Clark.

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Day of the (different) Triffids

I recently went for a 10 km walk with fellow pilot Jay Cooke (from the Angeles Flying Club) around the far flung corners of the old Clark US air force base situated nearby. After Mount Pinatubo erupted in 1991 the base was wound down and much of the base housing (away from the main bustling central area around the runways) fell into an advanced state of disrepair.... this, despite the Base becoming a Freeport with minimal taxation in recent years. Much evidence of half renovated schemes that had apparently run out of money in recent years was plain to see as we progressed around. It was interesting all the same to imagine how this base housing must have appeared back in its heyday, a leafy suburban idyll no doubt, cocooned and protected in its own Little America.
Now, even newly constructed walls only a few years old are being smothered and re-consumed by sprawling, pervasive and encroaching “Triffid” like jungle flora. This all dominating, force of nature, taking command once again of its natural habitat without fuss, as it would have done after countless ground smothering and clearing volcanic eruptions in the past millennia, way before Military Aeroplanes and their sprawling, pervasive and encroaching Triffid like support mechanisms were ever invented....

I have added a photo of “officers housing” - a “leafy suburban dream home” it once undoubtedly was for someone....The new residents are definitely more leafy and less suburban....
(Triffids Reclaim the Kitchen)
Cheers Norman.

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For More Information Visit The Website
Consider Donating To Norman's Chosen Charity: Bowel Cancer UK
Follow Norman and G-YROX LIve on The Spot Tracker

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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Norman to be Honoured at the Burning Man Festival.

During his stay at Woodland Air Park whilst waiting to start the next leg of the journey, Norman was delighted hear that his name is to be added to the ‘Flammable Stanley Cup for Cancer Survivors’.

This is a project to create a replica of the famous Ice Hockey Trophy called the Stanley Cup on which names of cancer survivors will be engraved. Its main aim is to celebrate the lives of cancer survivors and give hope to those who are dealing with it now.

The cup will be made of flammable materials so that it can burnt at the World famous ‘Burning Man Festival’. The project creator, Marissa Krupa, has asked that if anyone who knows of other survivors that would like their name added to the cup to please contact her via the link below.

Along with others, Marissa is hoping that Norman’s fight against cancer followed by his incredible adventure will inspire others in their own battles with the disease.

A worthy cause that has acknowledged Norman’s achievements and which Norman is pleased to be part of. The photo below shows the 'Stanley Cup' being constructed.

(Coutesy of Marissa Krupa)

If you want to know more check out the following links.

Check out The Flammable Stanley Cup Web Page
Check out the Burning Man Festival Website

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Become a Facebook Friend
For More Information Go To The Website
Consider Donating To Norman's Chosen Charity: Bowel Cancer UK
Follow Norman and G-YROX Live on Spot Tracker
Consider Joining The Authorised Facebook Fan Page

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Saturday, August 21, 2010

Norman Returns To Woodland Air Park.

As many will have seen, via the Spot Tracker, Norman departed Laoag Airport this morning and flew south, covering the 200 miles (321 Km) back to Woodland Air Park, near Angeles City in the centre of Luzon Island.

You may remember that Norman stayed here for a couple of days as the guest of the Angeles City Flying Club and was able to perform G-YROX’s 25 hour maintenance checks with the help of locally based engineers whilst he was there.

So following an open invitation to return to the flying club at anytime and also because of the continuing delay in receiving permissions to fly on to the next country in his schedule, Norman will be spending some time at Woodland’s with friends he made when there earlier this month.

Hopefully permissions will be forthcoming soon and then Norman can get under way again but in the meantime a new set of photos have arrived showing Norman arriving at Laoag International Airport.

Photo one shows Norman and G-YROX on approach to the airport.

(Photo Coutesy of Rey Anthony C. Villanueva)

Photo two shows Norman and G-YROX taxiing to the apron.

(Photo Coutesy of Rey Anthony C. Villanueva)

Photo three shows Norman and G-YROX coming to a halt in front of a marshaller who is signaling Norman to cut engines!

(Photo Coutesy of Rey Anthony C. Villanueva)

Photo four shows Norman and G-YROX safely on the apron with a beautiful Philippine skyline as a backdrop.

(Photo Coutesy of Rey Anthony C. Villanueva)

Photo five shows Norman repositioning G-YROX in the way only he knows best.

(Photo Coutesy of Rey Anthony C. Villanueva)

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Become a Facebook Friend
For More Information Go To The Website
Consider Donating To Norman's Chosen Charity: Bowel Cancer UK
Follow Norman and G-YROX Live On The Spot Tracker

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