Friday, May 7, 2010

Norman's description of the weekend incident

Norman is working away on getting the autogyro repairs sorted. Below are some insights to what actually happened over the weekend from Norman that were featured in a recent Belfast Telegraph newspaper article.

“It was a combination of factors. It was a very hot afternoon and the gyro was very heavy with fuel. There was also a cross wind that was blowing across the runway and it was variable so that meant it was blowing you in one direction one minute and another direction the next." Photo below shows Norman waving as he flies by (may be used with permission

“I was trying to take off into the wind and really I didn’t get the correct amount of lift as I was flying. At the end of the runway there were power lines which I had to avoid and meant I couldn’t go on and set it down on the other side of them.

I couldn’t turn right because there was a grove of coconut palms. On the other side there was a shallow lake so the best option was to try and go over the lake. We just did not have the energy in the rota to stay above the water and the aircraft tumbled over and ended upside down. I came out like you would from a canoe.”

“I have never had an accident before so it was quite interesting. “One second I was flying and the next thing I was upside down in the water. But once I got my head above water that was fine. The water was warm so at least it wasn’t like plunging into the North Sea or something and I am fairly used to the water. It wasn’t really that panicky — it sounds a lot more dramatic that it actually was.”

“I got the gyro out of the water in about half an hour. A lorry came along and lifted it out and we had the engine running in about two hours after the event. We are still evaluating the damage,”

“I hope to be able to fly on. It would be a bit of a shame saying as I have done so well. The plan of action is to take two or three weeks to get the parts from the main factory and Germany and the UK. We are also getting an engineer out to look at repairing the aircraft."

“I was a bit annoyed at myself for putting it into this position but if nothing else, if we get her up and running again, it will be interesting and will show the versatility of this little aircraft."

“I would be very attached to the aircraft and if we can possibly get her going we will. There is a great morale among everyone here in Thailand — I would equate it to that of a Formula 1 racing team who have crashed in practice session.”


  1. Another great article in Norman's own words and it does show how serious this could have been. It's a great indictment to Norman's professionalism and coolness that after this he was able to report that it was 'quite interesting'
    Thank you for putting this on here, it brings the goings on at Nongprue to life.
    We are all behind you Norman and hope everything; parts, engineers and time, all come together soon and you can continue with your journey in the same pioneer spirit that you regularly show in your posts :-)


  3. It seems to me that the writer of this blog is as much in the dark about what is going on as the rest of us. Todays post is from a newspaper article the link to which was posted on Facebook a short time ago.

    I wish you luck Norman but I think if you wish to keep the enormous support that you have you need to keep us better informed.

    Whats the problem with the aircraft? What are future plans? Why no pictures of the accident?

    Come on Norman use your public relatios skills.

    Good luck with the future of the project.

    Frank Shaw


  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Frank,
    Thanks for the comment. From our experience the majority of people may not have seen this so it is important to give people an additional chance to read Norman's comments.

  6. Thanks for your reply but you failed to address the important issues.

    Why are we being kept in the dark? Whats the problem with the aircraft? What are future plans? Why no pictures of the accident?


    Frank Shaw

  7. Frank,
    Thanks for that. The main focus of Norman's efforts at the moment is a plan for getting the autogyro repaired and flying. As you can imagine this depends on many different logistical elements, organisations and people coming together. If this plan is achieved and completed Norman will be flying on to the next country in his planned route - Malaysia.

  8. Here's hoping you get repairs done soon and are able to resume your epic journey. Don't worry about impatient followers seeking information - I'm sure you have enough on your plate at the moment and will update us when convenient. We know you are safe and well for now.

  9. To Eddie Gold,

    From the posts, you seem to be the go-to guy
    for current info about Norman's status. Are you
    actually in Nongprue?

  10. Actually and although Nongprue sounds like a great place to be, I am not based there. I was Norman's Host when he arrived in Egypt and have been following him intently ever since. Because of his time with me here (he was delayed here for 3 days)I was also in contact with the support team in Ireland and was also able to share my photos, videos and articles with them and also with other followers Norman had been in contact with. Because of an ongoing commitment to help Norman and his support team in any way i can, I do find myself in contact with parties involved with the adventure, either in Ireland or at Nongprue flying club and even in many of the countries Norman has already been to, so I do get to hear information that may seem quicker than what other people do, but this is only because of my involvement with so many other people involved with the journey. I actually do not have prior information personally, but I do get contacted by the people who do, which makes it seem that I have been 'first' to know, when in reality I may be the 'first follower' to post it. But, knowing how rumours can be damaging, I always check details and availability of the news with the support team before posting anything. Sometimes small bits of info are best left alone until the whole package is known and that is why sometimes big news doesn't appear until all the facts have been gathered.
    I hope this has cleared up my part in this, but as you can see, I am just like every other follower, but I was lucky enough to have hosted Norman on his journey and then I was able to continue, in a small way, to help where i can :-)