Mike Perham announces plans to fly solo around the world
Dateline: 23rd July 2010 Farnborough International Air Show
Today, 18-year old Mike Perham has announced plans to become the youngest person to fly solo around the world. The press conference, hosted aptly in the Futures Pavilion at the Farnborough International Air Show, comes just 11 months after Perham returned to a hero's welcome in Portsmouth last August to become the youngest person to sail around the world single handed.
If successful in this latest challenge, Mike Perham will also become the first person to both sail and fly solo around the world. Doors are now starting to open to make this adventure possible and if everything comes together in time, he hopes to be off next summer.
Circumnavigating the globe in a small plane is the ultimate flying adventure. The planning and logistics required for such a trip is hugely challenging. Studying the weather systems en-route and dealing with worldwide bureaucracies and regulations are quite daunting. No other single aviation event is this rich in content and equally multi-faceted. The flight will prove to be mentally and physically gruelling, in climatic extremes, placing high demands on Mike and his aircraft.
Mike, who only passed his driving test a few months ago, has begun an intensive training programme for this next challenge with Cabair Flying School at Elstree Aerodrome. Mike said, 'It is truly amazing to experience the freedom that flying gives. There is a lot to learn, but I'm loving it'.
Steve Hinton-Lver, director of Cabair says, 'When Mike first came to see us with his plans, we were immediately impressed by his mature approach and outlook on life. Mike will make an excellent ambassador for the industry and we can expect him to inspire many into taking up flying.'
Liam Dunleavy Mike's flying instructor, said, 'It is great to be able to work with someone who shows such determination to succeed. Mike has a natural aptitude and I am sure his experience of sailing around the world will be a great asset to his flying goals'
Mike, who was listed by both Time Magazine and The China Daily in their top 10 heroes of 2009, will challenge the current record holder, Barrington Irving from the USA, who flew solo around the world at the age of 23.
The record route, which is adjudicated by the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale, will take Perham, who already holds 2 Guinness World Endurance Records, across 18 Countries during the 3-month long record attempt. The flight must start and finish at the same aerodrome, crossing all meridians and be not be less that 19,864nm (equal in length to the Tropic of Cancer).
Mike, who is an Ambassador for the Prince’s Trust, certainly has a good track record. His solo round the world sailing voyage undertaken in 2008/9, generated a wave of media coverage that made him a household name right around the world, delivering more than £60 million in air time and column inches for his sponsors. Mike’s exploits were also the subject of a 90-minute Channel 4 TV documentary, which has since been aired by other TV networks in France and USA.
Since completing that solo voyage, Mike has encouraged thousands of young people to make more of their lives, delivering his ‘Live the Dream’ talks to schools, youth groups and business motivational conferences in the UK, Hong Kong and Australia.
Mike has seen first hand the enormous difference adventures like this can have on other people. He has a stack of emails saying how inspired they have become after following his voyage around the world. Mike frequently visits schools and says, "It is hugely satisfying to see so many young people engaging with what I have to say. I love taking questions and to see a sea of hands in the air is just amazing. If only more people of my age realised they too could live their dreams. Nothing is impossible if you want it enough. I come from land locked Potters Bar, yet I managed to sail around the world."
To follow Mike's activities, visit his website www.challengemike.com or to find out more about Mike and his character, read his book, Sailing the Dream.
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To view a lightbox of hi.res images available on line of Mike Perham's solo sailing circumnavigation, click here