While we’re in congratulatory mood, serious respect to Douglas Cairns and Karl Beetson who have just set a World Aviation Speed Record, flying a Vans RV8 and Vans RV4 from Denham to Malta in a single day. The trip involved 13 hours of flying and three fuel stops (Le Touquet, Gap Tallard in the French Alps and Figari Sud on the southern tip of Corsica).
Of course, there’s quite a lot of these sort of flights going on, so it’s worth mentioning that both pilots have type one diabetes and made the trip as part of a series of projects by Flying with Diabetes – an organisation set up by the two men to raise awareness about living and flying with the condition. Douglas was Royal Air Force pilot before losing his flying instructor’s job when he was diagnosed as a diabetic; Karl had to abandon a dream of becoming a professional pilot after discovering he had the condition.
Speaking to the Malta Times, Karl said, “We decided to go for the London to Malta route as a lot of people, tourists for instance, can relate to the distance covered. It’s a trip many people from both the UK and Malta make regularly. Not everyone wants to be a pilot like I did, but if someone who has diabetes sees that you can achieve something like this, they could start believing that they could be anything they wanted to be.”
Quite so. If you’d like to know more, we recommend a look-see at: