A flying 'Wombat'

Have you ever dreamed about taking to the skies and flying away from it all? Well one Gravir resident, Gary Carr, is determined to do just that in his recently acquired 'Wombat', but we are not talking about the marsupial from Down Under.

This 'Wombat' is a Gyrocopter – a two man mini helicopter that Gary rescued from inaction in Ireland and is currently working to bring up to flying standards.

And once ready he plans to take to the Hebridean skies in his miniature copter.

Built in 1993 the 'Wombat' is only one of three built by Chris Jury in England, but Gary's particular model ended up in Southern Ireland where he recently set out to bring the machine to the islands, overcoming some red tape on the way.

He said: "I already have a Challenger aircraft two-seater and then this came up. I had to get through the CAA to register it as it had an American registration, then we had problems getting it on the ferry to come over from Ireland – it seemed like they didn't want to let it leave! I had to drain off all the fuel for the trip, but we got here in the end."

The craft is now sitting outside Gary's Gravir home as it awaits a new hangar, and it is already drawing a lot of interest on the internet as people ask Gary for pictures and quiz him about the Gyrocopter and its capabilities.

The work on the machine to get it up to the correct flying standards may take some time, but Gary who is a member of both the Light Aircraft and British Rotor Craft associations, is determined to be in the air in the near future – so if you see any strange aircraft over Lewis in the next year or so it could very well be a 'Flying Wombat'.