Round-the-world autogyro pilot takes off from Shropshire
A pilot aiming to become the first person to circumnavigate the world in an autogyro took off from Shropshire at 10.45am today.
Norman Surplus started his mammoth journey this morning after waiting five years to complete his circumnavigation of the world.
The 56-year-old was followed by a chase chopper as far as Wolverhampton, and will continue his journey to Turweston to pick up a needed certificate before flying east.
He's hoping to travel fast enough to avoid Storm Hannah, which is set to hit parts of the UK from this afternoon.
If there are any delays, he could be facing January-like temperatures and gusts of up to 80mph.
Norman was set to leave on Thursday but had to delay his trip even further due to last-minute repairs.
Norman landed at Sleap Airfield, north of Shrewsbury, on Monday night. Since then his aircraft, Roxy, has been given an intense service by the Gyro Copter Head Quarters (GCHQ) engineer.
Having flown his autogyro from his home town of Larne in Northern Ireland the Mediterranean Sea, through Saudi Arabia, India, China and Japan in 2010 during his initial attempt, he faced an impassable Russian border and started his trip again from America in 2015 – he now seeks to take advantage of the recently opened Russian air space to become the first person to circumnavigate the globe in an autogyro.