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article imageDisabled microlight pilot lands in Australia after flying from UK

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By Kev Hedges     Sep 1, 2011 in Travel
A paraplegic pilot has flown a 12,000-mile journey from Yorkshire, England to the other side of the world, landing at Australia's iconic Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge.
The incredible journey, which took four months to complete, is all the more remarkable as Dave Sykes was paralysed from the waist down following a motorcycle accident 18 months ago. His wheelchair is dismantled then folded up and tethered to the side of his small microlight before each take-off. During his daring flight he crossed over dense jungle, arid desert, bustling cities, oceans and through the odd tropical storm. He was also nearly shot down when flying over Iran.
Mr Sykes, who will now fly back to Britain in a conventional passenger flight, was over the moon when he saw the iconic sights at Sydney Harbour; "I could see the bridge in front of me - I thought, this is what I've planned for two years for. This is the actual final flight of it all! I just couldn't stop smiling really, and then flying over the actual bridge, looking at all the people doing the bridge walk waving at me, that was something else that was." he beamed.
The reason why the arduous marathon journey was undertaken was all down to his friends challenging him that he could not fly all the way to Sydney, reports Sky News.
The amazing feat was also undertaken to commemorate 80 years since Amy Johnson became the first woman to fly solo to Australia. His flight endured incredibly hostile terrain as well as testing storms, winds and rain, according to his dedicated website Solo Flight Global.
The money raised during the expedition went to Yorkshire Air Ambulance, a charity that delivers trauma victims to hospital very quickly wherever they may be in the county.
Mr Sykes is now planning another adventure, but he yet to reveal what those plans are just yet.
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