Yes, it is finally here; 5 years and 2 months since Norman departed Sandy Bay in Larne back in March 2010; the start of the final phase of Norman’s flight around the World begins today, 1st June!
Norman has been at the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum at McMinnville airport in Oregon for the last two weeks, getting ‘Roxy’ ready for the big day; undertaking local flights to check all is working well and making last minute adjustments where necessary. One of the flights included a stop at Sportcopter, a local Autogyro facility where the members gave Norman and Roxy a wonderful welcome which included some multi-ship formation flying to get some great air to air shots of our intrepid duo.
|Norman takes a 'Selfie' whilst flying over the Oregon countryside|
G-YROX, the MT-03 Autogyro, which has been affectionately named Roxy (an anagram of the registration), has been on show in the Evergreen museum since last autumn after arriving in the USA in a container from Japan. The long hoped for Russian permits to allow the Gyro to enter Russia and continue on to Alaska never came through as the authorities stuck their heads in the sand, ignoring all our efforts to make this a true circumnavigation. But, as we all know, Norman can never be called a quitter and over the summer last year a new plan came to fruition.
|Norman and Roxy with the crew from SportCopter|
Roxy is already the farthest flown Autogyro in history and already holds many FAI World Records for distance flown and times over set courses. But the new plan gives Norman and Roxy a chance at two new records.
1…To set the time for an autogyro to cross from the West Coast United States to East coast of Canada.
2…To be the first autogyro to cross the North Atlantic from North America to the United Kingdom, setting a number of other records for specific routes along the way...Canada - Greenland - Iceland etc..
Flying solo, with no following support, Norman will be hoping to meet up with like-minded enthusiasts and pilots along the way. He is always happy to chat and give talks to clubs and schools about his 5 year adventure, so if you are anywhere along his route and would like to have Norman as guest of honour please let us know. Contact details below.
|Norman's famous TurtlePac fuel bladder is now firmly in place in the rear seat|
Although Norman flies Roxy away from McMinnville for the final time today, he is not going far…just a short hop to the coast near Portland at Tillamook Airport. From there he will start the transcontinental flight to Maine on Tuesday morning with his first planned stop at Pendleton Municipal Airport, Oregon, in the North East of the state.
We will be giving updates regularly in this blog and on his Facebook pages as to the upcoming stops during his journey.
|Norman affixes the SportCopter sticker to Roxy|
Norman says that he has mixed emotions about today. Obviously he is raring to get back in the saddle and complete what he set out to do all those years ago but he will also be sad to leave behind all the good friends he has made in Oregon and especially at the Evergreen museum where Roxy has been well looked after by a really great bunch of people who really cared for our little yellow friend.
Norman feels comfortable in the fact that he will be flying through one of the most GA friendly countries in the world and expects to make many new friends along the way.
|A fond farewell to friends from the Evergreen Museum|
Anyone who followed the blog during the previous flights throughout the years will know that we liked to showcase not only the flying adventure but also the places and people Norman met along the way. Expect much more of the same during this second phase of the odyssey.
Norman is expected to depart McMinnville at around 3 pm local time today amidst a bevy of news and media crews.
You can follow his flights all the way back to Larne via his on-board ‘Spot’ tracker by clicking this link…
If you want to be one of those who would like to meet Norman on arrival at your local airport during his journey please send us an email to either…
firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
If you are from the media industry and would like to know more and how to get involved at some point please send an email to…
worldreachpr @ gmail.com
So all that is left to say on this momentous day is ‘Onwards and Upwards Norman and Roxy, the Emerald isle is beckoning”
Clear skies, fair winds and many happy landings.
The Gyrox Team