Blind pilot lands in record books

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Airman 1st Class
Apr 11, 2007
BBC NEWS | England | Derbyshire | Blind pilot lands in record books

A Derbyshire pilot has become the first blind aviator to make the 13,500-mile trip from London to Sydney in a microlight.

Miles Hilton-Barber, of Duffield, who uses a specially adapted craft, ended the last stage of his trip with sighted co-pilot Richard Meredith-Hardy.

He is raising money to help cure preventable blindness around the world.

Touching down in Sydney the 58-year-old father-of-three said: "I'm just euphoric at the moment."

Mr Hilton-Barber aims to raise £1m for Seeing is Believing which is helping the World Health Organization's attempts to eradicate preventable blindness in developing countries.

He said: "I wasn't frightened but having said that, we were in some life-threatening situations.

"We flew through a tropical storm. It was like flying through a waterfall.

"We also flew through a snow storm. My flying suit was covered in lumps of ice."

Mr Hilton-Barber, who was accompanied by a number of co-pilots at different stages of his trip, used speech-output technology to fly the 100-horsepower microlight.

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