Pilot pursues world record flying autogyro around the world, lands at Wall Airport
On the evening of Wednesday, June 10 airplane pilot Norman Surplus landed his MT-03 autogyro plane at the Wall Airport. Surplus is attempting to make an official world record by being the first to fly an autogyro to circumnavigate the globe. The German manufactured autogyro, nicknamed “Roxy”, is an open cockpit, two seat plane and is only five meters long.
Surplus started his venture from the town of Larne in Antrim County, Northern Ireland where he is from. Surplus is an autogyro pilot and a sailor. Surplus originally attempted to circle the globe in July 2011 but was held up in Japan for three years. Surplus had to wait for the Russian Federation to allow him to cross the far east of Russia to reach Alaska and beyond. Finally, the decision was made to go around the Russian section.
In 2015, Surplus started his venture again. The autogyro with pilot Surplus had landed in Custer but was advised to come to Wall due to the moisture and fog in the Custer area. Surplus stayed in Wall until the morning of June 12, and then departed toward Mitchell to do an interview with the TV station. From there, he planned on traveling to Worthington, Minn., Oshkosh, Wis. and then Chicago.
When Surplus has completed his venture to be the first pilot to fly an autogyro around the world, he will have crossed 26 countries and flew nearly 27,000 miles crossing oceans, jungles, deserts and mountains.
One of the major issues for pilot Surplus is safety. His technical support team did extensive research to achieve optimum safety for the feat. To cross oceans and vast lands, the aircraft has an additional fuel tank to extend the aircraft range. The average range of the autogyro is 300 miles but with the additional tank, the aircraft could reach over 800 miles. Surplus also wears a full immersion survival suit. The suit is made of a highly breathable material and is bright red with reflective visibility tape.
Pilot Surplus was diagnosed with an advanced stage of bowel cancer and is also using the flight to bring awareness of bowel cancer to the world. The public can track Surplus and the autogyro on their website gyroxgoesglobal .com.