Gyrocopter pilot shooting for world record

Gyrocopter pilot goes for world record

Norman Surplus, is living up to his surname, aiming to absolutely smash the record for longest flight in a gyrocopter by taking his small, exposed aircraft on a 26,000-mile journey around the world.

Monday that journey produced a pit-stop near Portland.

His is a bird's eye view reserved for the brave, especially when you factor in the lone plate of glass, separating you from the landscape below.

For Norman Surplus, that's all part of the draw and has been since he embarked on his 'Global Adventure' back in 2010.

Monday, that adventure brought him and his gyrocopter, a small, open aircraft dating back to the 1920's, to Dayton's Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum.

There, he made a few warm-up laps before embarking on a 7,500-mile stretch across the U.S., Canada, the Atlantic, and back to his home in Northern Ireland.

For the novice pilot, with just ten years' experience, it's the last leg of an unlikely trip around the world in an equally unlikely vehicle.

"It's long been forgotten but it's got a very bright future," said Surplus of his gyrocopter. "It burns about a third of the fuel of a regular helicopter which in this day and age, is a plus with fuel prices going up… I always like to champion the underdog and this aircraft type is an underdog."

Perhaps because Surplus himself knows what it's like to fight the odds.

He may not look like it now, but a grim diagnosis of bowel cancer, once left this man with months to live.

That was 12 years ago.

Today, Surplus is living every moment, and taking in every view like it's his last.

"It's hard to tell in individual cases with cancer who will be lucky enough to survive," he said. "But It is that idea that even if it looks very bleak, it is better to stay positive and stay hopeful for a good outcome."

So far in his trip, Surplus has visited 18 countries.

When crossing the U.S., Surplus plans to fly straight from Portland, Oregon to Portland, Maine.

He hopes to make his final landing in Northern Ireland by mid-July.

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