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.

         *     *     *
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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  1. I think the decision to ‘call half time’ must have been a very difficult one to make and I am sure that all avenues were explored in an attempt to continue with the flight this year but as always, it is better to be wise before the act than sorry after it. The sub-artic winters are notorious and you may well have been stranded all winter in a wilderness with no real support or way of returning home.
    I applaud you on making the right decision, congratulate you on all the many, many achievements and records already accomplished, and pledge my support, not only when you return to the adventure next year but also through the coming months until that day.
    Thank you for sharing your adventure with so many people and best wishes for the future, both at home and when the adventure starts again.

  2. Your achievements so far have been awe-inspiring and your pledge to continue with your wonderful adventure is so courageous. Every good wish for your future plans, Heather McM

  3. I salute you Norman.
    You have made a wise decision.

    Since March you have achieved records to be proud off, and you have shared with us the wonderful places you have visited and the many friends you have made on your epic journey so far.
    Such a wonderful setting for Roxy to spend a well earned rest, with people who will care for her........and keep the "friffids at bay !

    Roll on 2011 and the continuation of your journey.

  4. Hey mister, good job, good decision and good luck for now. It will be a lot cheaper to telephone you for a while !!. Roll on the Spring and off again with you for the second half and a few more goals (reached that is). Enjoy your time at home with your family and friends Norman, cheers Paul

  5. Wise decision Norman, safe trip back home, looking forward to next year, CHOK DEE !!
    Jane from Chartres !!

  6. Well done !! I hope to shake your hand (again) on your return. Safe home. Bren

  7. Congratulations on your achievements and dreams that you have accomplished so far! With time ticking by and weather and daylight changing, I think it was a wise decision to reschedule for next spring. Will look forward to the resumption then, when the risk factors will be going down, not up. All the best!
    Jim Cook (Vancouver Canada)

  8. So this is finally the answear to my question posted on the 9 june.
    Question (Will all this time waiting for repears, not have any consequences for the rest of your trip, for example crossing the Bering detroit, or flying over Alaska with early winter starting ?)
    Sorry you could't achieve your dream and hope to see you back in good health next year.
    A french frog !

  9. I will miss following Norman's exploits but would rather he takes a break now than try and fly in weather that may not be favourable, Congratulations on all you have achieved Norman and like many others will be looking forward to your return to the skies in the spring.

    Have a safe trip home and enjoy your time with your family.

  10. Sorry to hear of the enforced break, but better safe than sorry! Have a good rest, and we all look forward to hearing about the rest of your adventure when the conditions improve.

  11. Good wise choice Norman and it will be nice to be home with family again. I will miss not checking spot each morning for progress but will look forward to your springtime start of the great adventure again.
    All the best.
    John in Vancouver.