Surplus profits for charity as adventurer touches down

Surplus flew the delicate contrapton around the world
Surplus flew the delicate contrapton around the world

Charity campaigner and adventurer, Norman Surplus, touched down in Stornoway last week in the final leg of a world record flight in a gyrocopter.

The Northern Irishman flew the small contraption around the world to raise money for Bowel Cancer UK.

Norman’s adventure began with a diagnosis of advanced bowel cancer in 2003 at the age of 40. He was given a 40 percent chance of survival, with only an expected 18 months to live.

Unlike most hospital patients, daytime TV proved 
an inspiration.

A programme showing the repair of an autogyro aircraft buoyed him to one day pilot his own plane and beat his illness. He became a certified pilot in 2005, having made a full recovery, and embarked on a truly spectacular trip, breaking the world record for the longest flight in a gyrocopter. Not everything was plain sailing: “The most anxious moments on the trip have been weather-related... a building thunderstorm system, a strong headwind, or the unexpected severity of turbulence experienced in 
the mountains.

“Some notable memories have been ditching in a shallow lake in Thailand, overflying wild fires and swirling smoke in the jungles of Myanmar, an emergency landing and overnight stop at a petrol station in Saudi Arabia, overflying the ice cap in Southern Greenland, and 
many more!”

Check out this week’s Stornoway Gazette for the rest of this feature and much more!