A daring adventure by physically-challenged pilots is due to leave Geneva, Switzerland, on Sunday and end in September 2019 after a flight of 80,000 km that will cover 40 countries and 150 stops.
The flight has a goal to raise funds for Handicap International and is also sponsored by the Lions Clubs International.
Handiflight is a non-profit association formed in Gruyère, Switzerland in 2007. It has become the biggest fly-in for disabled pilots from all around the world. After 10 years of successful events, Handiflight is tackling a new goal: “To fly around the world to explore new horizons, look for new challenges, combat prejudices and promote the inclusion of disabled people.”
Primary pilots Paolo Pocobelli, Guillaume Féral and Mike Lomberg will lead an international team of more than 15 pilots with physical disabilities flying two Flight Design CTLS aircraft with modified hand controls and auxilliary fuel tanks.
The route will go down through the Middle East, across India and Bangladesh, down through Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia before crossing to Australia. After effectively circumnavigating the country, the flight will cross the South Pacific including a stop on Easter Island before making landfall in South America.
From there the flight will go up through Central America, across Mexico and the USA before crossing the North Atlantic back to Europe.
If everything goes according to the planned itinerary, Handiflight will make landfall in Australia on 17 January, and take a route down through Western Australia, across the Nullarbor and up to Uluru, over to the eastern seaboard including VIC, NSW and QLD before departing for NZ via Lord Howe Island on or about 2 March.
Pilots from 10 different countries will fly the CTLS on Handiflight, including Australian paraplegics Cliff Princehorn, David McPherson and Glenn Bannister.
More information on the round-the-world trip is available on the Handiflight around the World website.