Keady corporal takes on South Pole challenge

UP, UP AND AWAY: Keadby Corporal Alan Robinson will be one of the first people to fly a microlight aircraft at the South Pole.
UP, UP AND AWAY: Keadby Corporal Alan Robinson will be one of the first people to fly a microlight aircraft at the South Pole.
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A DISABLED man who has always dreamed of flying is to be part of the first-ever airborne expedition to the South Pole.

RAF Corporal Alan Robinson, from Keadby, lost his leg in a motorbike crash. But now he will be a member of a seven-strong team intent on flying microlight aircraft to the Pole in an expedition supported by Help the Heroes.

They are part of Flying for Freedom, which aims to support the recovery of injured and disabled servicemen and women. And freedom is exactly what Alan gets from flying.

He said: “The best thing about it for me is that when I’m in the aircraft and flying I’m no longer a disabled person. The disability disappears.”

The team’s polar aero trek, taking flight next year, will involve a round trip flight of more than 3,000 miles, flying at cruising altitudes of up to 10,000 feet in temperatures as low as -30C. The expedition will also attempt to achieve three world firsts – the first flexible wing flight in Antarctica, first over the South Pole and first over Mount Vinson, the highest peak on the Antarctic continent at 16,050 feet.

Alan added: “Flying has been a lifetime ambition for me. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity. How many people will get to do this? It’s going to be brilliant; I can’t wait to get started.”

The expedition will cost about £1.2 million to mount, which it is seeking to raise through sponsorship.