Blind Pilot To Fly From Britain To Australia
A British man who describes himself as “blind as a bat” intends to fly an ultralight from Britain to Australia later this year, following the route of a 1919 air race through Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Miles Hilton-Barber, who crossed the English Channel in an ultralight equipped with voice annunciating instruments in 2003, will tackle the 15,000-mile trip on Monday. He’s hoping to raise about $2 million for Seeing Is Believing, a charity that works to prevent blindness in Third World countries. Hilton-Barber will be accompanied by a sighted pilot. He hopes to complete the trip in 55 days. In addition to his flying exploits, Hilton-Barber has climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro, competed in marathons and raced cars. He told reporters that his dream as a young man was to fly fighters, but poor eyesight (he has retinitis pigmentosa) kept him out. "Now, 37 years later and blind as a bat, I have this wonderful opportunity and privilege to fly more than halfway across the world."