Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Blind Aviator Flies into History

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Blind Aviator Flies into History

Article excerpt

Airfield owner Storm Smith provided the eyes so his blind friend could fulfil his childhood dream of becoming a pilot.

Now, having flown across the Channel, they are planning a 12,600-mile trip in a microlight plane to Sydney.

Storm, 41, who owns Eshott Airfield in Felton, Northumberland, acted as pilot-in-command for Miles Hilton- Barber, 54, of Derbyshire, who became the first blind person to cross the Channel by microlight yesterday.

Storm said: "Miles is the most amazing man. I met him when he came to give a motivational talk at my company.

"He's been parachuting, diving, he's climbed Kilimanjaro, done the Marathon de Sables and crossed the Gobi Desert, so when he said he wanted to learn how to fly, I decided I wanted to help.

"He needs a qualified pilot with him when he goes up so really, I act as his eyes, shout left or right and tell him about the scenery we're passing. We've become a part of history. It's been an incredible experience for both of us. …

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