Newstalk
Newstalk

17.04 10 Aug 2016


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A Cork man is hoping to fly from Ireland to Africa on a lawnmower-powered craft this weekend.

Oisín Creagh will aim to create a new world record.

During his four-week journey starting August 14th, he will be fitted with go-pro camera equipment and radio mics.

He is concluding his preparation today, undertaking a day of safety and rescue training - including a series of simulated crash-landings on water - at the National Maritime College of Ireland at Ringnaskiddy.

A self-employed architect, he is aiming to become the first person to deploy a 'paramotor' for a journey that will take him from Ireland, through Wales, England, France and Spain, before arriving in his final destination in North Africa.

Weather permitting, he aims to depart from Ireland on his 3,000km journey next Sunday, August 14th.

Oisín Creagh | Image: Gorta-Self Help Africa

He is going on the month-long trip to raise funds and awareness of the work of Irish-based international development organisation, Gorta-Self Help Africa.

He has to date collected near to €4,000 in sponsorship.

"In a region of the world where up to 70% of people rely on small plots of land for their very survival, it is only by improving farm production that millions of people will be able to work their way out of poverty," he says.

He expects to be travelling at an altitude of approximately 1,500ft for much of the journey - although over the Irish Sea, English Channel and Straits of Gibraltar he will be higher.

Image: Gorta-Self Help Africa

He will also need to ascend to heights in excess of 6,000ft for the leg of his journey through the Pyrenees Mountain range, which separate France from Spain.

Powered by a small two-stroke engine similar to the motor of a lawnmower, he should potentially be able to cover up to 150-200km of his trip, per flight, travelling at up to 60km an hour.

He says he is in discussions with the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) and their international counterparts through whose airspace he will travel.


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