Two Poles, One Pilot, One Engine

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Lots of pilots, including Polly Vacher, have followed the sun on around-the-world jaunts. But the 58-year-old British pilot is doing it the hard way this time around. The practical test of Vacher's bid began May 6 when she took off from Birmingham trying to become the first person to circumnavigate the globe solo over both poles in a single-engine aircraft. You can read her diary online. She and her Piper Dakota will cover 35,000 miles and touch down in 30 countries over the next eight months as she tries to raise money for the Flying Scholarship for the Disabled. Her first trip, in 2001, raised $270,000 for that cause and she hopes to raise as much this time around. Although any round-the-world flight takes some planning, Vacher must take the vicious weather of the polar regions into account on this flight and only attempt the flights during their short summers. You can expect to see her at EAA AirVenture in 2003, describing her experiences.