Blind Pilot Makes History


Flying blind isn’t just a clich for Miles Hilton-Barber. Hilton-Barber, 54, became the first blind person to fly across the English Channel in a microlight aircraft last weekend. Hilton-Barber was among about 80 pilots to take off from Headcorn Airfield in Kent (U.K.). He flew with a sighted pilot for safety and legal reasons. With this flight over, which was said to be the largest peacetime aerial crossing of the Channel, Hilton-Barber has set his “sights” on another goal in the not too distant future. He plans to fly 12,600 miles to Sydney, Australia, in the same aircraft. It’s his way of honoring 100 years of powered flight and raising money for Royal National Institute of the Blind. “Apart from it being a great adventure for me, fulfilling one of my childhood dreams, it’s also hopefully helping a lot of other people in Britain to have a better quality of life,” Hilton-Barber told BBC news.