Saturday, 18 October 2014

The world’s oldest and "toughest" international UCI mountain bike race

The Crocodile Trophy is the world’s oldest and said to be the toughest UCI international mountain bike race. There are riders from Austria, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, China, Denmark, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Switzerland and the UK taking part.

It takes place in Australia starting October 18th. the ‘Crocodile Trophy’ will see over 100 professional and amateur riders. The participants cycle 900km (nearly 560 miles) - basically nine marathons in a row. They will ride nine stages through lush rainforests, dry intense heat of the Outback and mountain trails climbing to 3,000m, finishing on the tropical coast of Queensland.

2014 sees the Crocodile Trophy celebrate its 20th anniversary and for the first time it is registered as an official Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) race. As a result participants can collect valuable UCI points, for the first time, which are used for cyclist ranking internationally. In addition the Crocodile Trophy offers prize money to the value of AUD 40,000.

What: Crocodile Trophy international mountain bike race
When: 18th – 26th October 2014. 
Starts: Smithfield Regional Park near Cairns, Queensland, Australia
Finishes: Four Mile Beach, Port Douglas, Queensland, Australia

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Chasing the Midnight Sun to the arctic in a microlight

Nord Kapp in Norway lies 321 miles above the Arctic Circle, which means that during the summer months it is one of the places you can see the sun above the horizon at midnight.

The aim of 'Chasing the Midnight Sun' adventure is to make the 2,500+ mile flight to Nord Kapp to see the Midnight Sun and have the aircraft positioned on the ground at the beacon there, facing north at Midnight towards the sun. Yes, at midnight the sun is due north!

There is no airfield at the beacon but because the team will be flying a microlight they are hoping to get permission for them to land on the approach road by the beacon.

The beacon at Midnight with the aircraft and crew in the foreground should make a dramatic image that has never been seen before. They believe that no microlight has even landed there and been pictured with the midnight sun.

Of course, this flight will be more than just a trip up to the Arctic circle to see the sun…in fact the return journey will be via a different route than the journey north. They will add another 2,500 miles to the journey giving a flight of 5,000 miles in all, which is quite an undertaking in an aircraft with a 300 mile range! The team will visit 12 different countries…France, Belgium, The Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland during the adventure.

Although this is a work in progress and all destinations will be carefully chosen, it has already been decided that the they will fly to the Oresund Bridge which links Denmark and Sweden. They may even attempt to allow the aircraft to fly under it are underway. They hope to arrive and do this on the same day as the bridge has the 15th anniversary of its opening.

Another highlight will be the arrival of the team at Santa Claus’s own airport in Finland! Yes, there is a Santa Claus Airport!

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Sunday, 5 October 2014

Project flies low income patients to distant medical facilities

Since 1991, Wings of Mercy has been helping people improve their chances of getting well by facilitating free flights to some of the best medical destinations east of the Rocky Mountains in the US. It is dedicated to connecting pilots with low income patients in need of transportation to distant medical facilities.

Wings around the World is a attempt to fly a light aircraft around the world with the objective of increasing public awareness about and funds for Wings of Mercy. The intention also is to raise awareness of similar private aviation initiatives around the world.

The team will start their flight in June 2015, in the US making frequent stops to support the objective. Initial planned route starts and ends at Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Route covers all US states east of Wisconsin then Greenland, Iceland, Europe, Middle East, SE Asia, Australia, Philippines, China, Japan and Alaska. finishing with all US states west of Wisconsin (except Hawaii), terminating at the EAA Air Show in 2015

Who is needed:
  • Pilots - 5-6, each to fly about 5,000 miles with Tim Fino
  • Logistics crew - ground based)
  • Safety review crew - ground based
  • Advance planning/route planning - help us determine the actual route and stops!
Wings of Mercy is a non-profit, volunteer organization of pilots who donate the use of their time and airplane.

Media enquiries to