Dave Sykes’s record flight covered a distance of 16,161 Miles (21,709Km). The challenges varied including some enormous open water crossings over shark infested seas, extreme weather conditions and overflying some of the most hostile terrain in the world. There was also a significant logistical, bureaucratic and political obstacles to overcome. It was anticipated that this epic flight would take approximately six to eight weeks flying up to 500 miles and 7 to 9 hours per day.
but ended up taking 4 months to complete.
The route took me through the following countries:
England -- France -- Italy -- Malta -- Greece -- Cyprus -- Egypt -- Saudi Arabia -- Qatar -- United Arab Emirates -- Oman -- Pakistan -- India -- Bangladesh -- Myanmar (Burma) -- Thailand -- Malaysia -- Indonesia -- Australia
Although microlights conform to stringent British requirements (BCAR section S) there is no agreed international standard or approval. Therefore special permission had to be sought to fly through each country en-route, some diplomatic and Military clearances.
It was the intention to depart in late 2010 but after delays it was April 2011. The weather can often be often difficult at this time of year but an early departure was essential to avoid worse conditions that may prevail en-route later in the year. Starting in York down through England, crossing the Channel and flying down through France, Italy and over to Malta a 215 miles water crossing to Corfu Greece, then another 220 miles water to Rhodes.Rhodes to Cyprus 240miles water crossing.Cyprus Then on to Alexandria in Egypt a 300miles water crossing into Cairo then following the Nile to Luxor before crossing the Red Sea to Jeddah in Saudi Arabia.
Continuing through the Saudi Arabian desert to Riyadh, then past Bahrain, and onto Doha in Qatar, across the gulf to Abu Dhabi and then over 10,000 foot mountains to Muscat in Oman. A 220Nm hop across the Gulf of Oman over into Pakistan just missing Iran routing via Gwadar and Karachi and across India taking in the delights of Ahmadabad, Raipur and Calcutta before entering Bangladesh at Dhaka and on to Chittagong. Onwards and into Myanmar (Burma) landing at Kyakpyu, Dawie and Yangon, continuing into Thailand with overnight stops in Bangkok, Surat Thani and Phuket. Penang and Kuala Lumpur saw me through Malaysia followed by Indonesia. Jakarta,Palembang, Semarang, Surabaya, Bali, Bima and Kupang was the route through Indonesia island hopping for the last part before finally crossing the Timor Sea (281Nm) to Truscott then up to Darwin in Northern Australia.
And lastly a 1700+ nautical mile trek from Darwin to Mataranka Homestead, Barkley Homestead, Mount Isa, Barcaldine, Charleville, Nyngen, Dubba, Wallsair just outside Newcastle before arriving at Sydney Bansktown - then one final leg on back to Newcastle where the journey ended on the 30/8/2011 and flying 257hours.