Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Blind Man Flies From London to Sydney

In an amazing feat, Miles Hilton-Barber flew halfway around the world. Blind. The British pilot departed London on March and arrived in Sydney on Monday. The journey was a total of 13,500 miles.

"It's the fulfillment of an amazing dream," the 58-year-old adventurer said after touching down at Sydney's Bankstown airport. "I've been wanting to do this flight for about four years."

Hilton-Barber flies with a sighted co-pilot but relies on speech output from his navigation instruments to steer his course, directing the plane from a wireless keyboard.

"I've wanted to be a pilot since I was a kid. Now I'm totally blind and I've had the privilege of flying more than halfway around the world. The big deal is not me doing this, it's raising funds," he said.

Hilton-Barber, who has been blind for 25 years, hopes the trip will raise some two million US dollars for the charity Seeing is Believing, which works to cut the incidence of preventable blindness in developing countries.

Terah Shelton
Traveler. Writer. Ingenue

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