Disabled Pilots Aim For Record

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A pair of British physically challenged aviation buffs are out to prove that their disabilities don't diminish their need for speed. Sometime in the coming year, John de Frayssinet and Jenny Ayers, both members of the British Disabled Flying Association, hope to claim a world record in their class for a flight from the southern tip of Great Britain at Land's End to the northern extreme of John O'Groats in Scotland. The current record was set last year in a Diamond DA40 with a Thielert diesel engine. De Frayssinet and Ayers will try to beat it in de Frayssinet's homebuilt Glasair. On the surface, it should be no contest. The Glasair cruises about 60 knots faster than the diesel Diamond but the 632-mile distance will force de Frayssinet to balance speed and fuel economy if he hopes to finish. Also, the Glasair can't use the grass strip at Land's End and will have to take off from nearby pavement and overfly Land's End before heading north. The route will take them over water for most of the trip. De Frayssinet is a high left leg amputee. Ayers has mobility problems and lost her license but still loves flying.