Circumnavigation "First" For Australian Aviation

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Thursday, Ken Evers and Tim Pryse returned to Australia, becoming the first Australians to circumnavigate the earth in an Australian-designed and built airplane, the Airvan GA8-TC, but they also had a greater cause. The trip was intended to raise awareness of malaria and raise money for malaria prevention programs while also marking the centenary of Australian aviation. John Duigan is credited with taking the first Australian-made powered airplane aloft on July 16, 1910. That trip was about seven meters long. Evers and Pryse flew their Australian-made plane for 55 days, including 234 flight hours. They covered 52,000 km and touched down in 16 countries. The trip's timing meant the men saw, first-hand, the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and violent uprisings in Jamaica. The two men say the trip has served to invigorate their campaign against malaria and the men now have plans to produce both a book and documentary about their flight.

Pryse, a pilot of 35 years, has served as a missionary pilot in Papua New Guinea. Evers had grown up there and flew in memory of friends lost to malaria. To learn more about the flight, or to donate to its cause, click through here. The Gippsland Aeronautics GA8-TC is an eight-seat high-wing designed for rugged short field use and powered by a turbocharged version of the Lycoming IO-540. To learn more, visit Gippsland Aeronautic's website.