Pilot to continue his crash course across Africa – The Times

Maurice Kirk has endured a series of mishaps but denies being reckless.

kenya-border-1gopr0402_moment

Nearly had ‘Brainstorm Primary School’ chimney pots….leaving a donation for strictly ‘education’ (mainly orphans with ‘nothing’) and a rumour Narius will be renaming the school after the passing pilot!

kenya-border-3-zipgopr0495_moment-2

Oh so close to gangrene!

Maurice Kirk, 71, blamed fellow aviators in the Vintage Air Rally for reneging on a promise to carry his luggage, which includes a tuxedo and top hat, in their planes.

The former drinking buddy of Oliver Reed, the late actor, said that he was forced to put his bags on his lap in his 1943 single-engine Piper Cub. He also had a long-range fuel tank installed above his head which meant he couldn’t see his compass.

“It meant I was flying with an awful lot of extra baggage in the cockpit,” he told The Times from Nairobi, where he is waiting for a new propellor to enable him to continue his journey South.

He has used his smartphone to navigate but said he struggled to find some airstrips. The former vet, from South Wales, had already crashed in Cannes on his way to the rally’s start, when his engine cut out above the runway. “It did it again in Khartoum,” he said.

He left his maps in a hotel room and dropped his GPS navigation system down a drain, but denied suggestions that he was reckless. Sam Rutherford, the rally’s organiser, said that Mr Kirk was an “extremely good aviator” who could land in a small field on the side of a mountain, but he asked him to leave the Vintage Air Rally because he was dangerous.

“There is nothing that annoys me more than somebody who doesn’t take basic preparations and precautions in order not to have someone else putting their lives at risk [with a search and rescue operation],” Mr Rutherford said.

Spectators turn out to see the planes of the Vintage Air Rally at Nairobi national parkThomas Mukoya/Reuters

He said Mr Kirk had crashed off the end of Khartoum’s runway. Mr Kirk said that was nonsense and he had “cleared it on purpose to be out of the way”. He has refused to leave the rally. Asked about Mr Rutherford, he said: “I hope I never see him again or I will punch him on the nose.”

Mr Kirk, who was arrested in the US in 2008 after landing too close to George W Bush’s Texas ranch, boasted about “flying below camel level” on a trip to Australia. He was rescued by the US Coastguard after crashing in the Caribbean.

Mr Kirk crashed twice in South Sudan. The first time he punctured a wheel. The second time he ripped part of the undercarriage and a propellor. None of this has dampened his determination to complete the 8,000-mile journey. The plane was loaded onto a truck and driven to Lokichoggio in Northern Kenya.

“I just need two people to help me put the wings back on,” Mr Kirk said. “If the engine runs I am heading straight to Cape Town.”

Only 15 of the 22 aircraft that started the rally have made it to Cape Town. A Boeing-Stearman biplane crashed in Kenya. A Tiger Moth was blown into one of the support helicopters in Botswana, damaging both beyond repair.

Mr Kirk said he planned to ship his aircraft, Liberty Girl II, from Cape Town to the Falklands then fly the length of the Americas. He was banned from the US in 2008 but believes Donald Trump will welcome him in.

Maurice’s FACEBOOK BLOCKED  (South Wales Police?) so videos on You Tube and his current tel +254713600213 — maurice@kirkflyingvet.com

WHO’S JOINING MAURICE FOR CHRISTMAS LUNCH AT STANLEY HOTEL?

This entry was posted in 2016 Flight to South Africa. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Pilot to continue his crash course across Africa – The Times

  1. mauricekirky says:

    A Very Merry Christmas to Ye All from The Aero Club of East Africa

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