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Last Updated: Tuesday, 13 July, 2004, 22:49 GMT 23:49 UK
Blind pilot on course for record
Steve Cunningham
Cunningham's next stop is Belfast
A sportsman attempting to become the first blind person to fly a plane around the UK has completed the second leg of his journey.

Steve Cunningham made it from Newcastle to Glasgow despite problems with his aircraft's software.

The 41-year-old father-of-two from Banbury, Oxfordshire, left Biggin Hill in Kent on Monday and the next stop on his five-day trip is Belfast.

He has a co-pilot but is in full control of the plane.

His plane hit turbulence over Berwick-Upon-Tweed, Northumberland, and the computers began to malfunction.

He said: "It wasn't converting the data which I need to find out my position so I just flew a bit higher and then it was fine thankfully. I've really got the flying bug now."

Mr Cunningham has broken records for the fastest blind man on land and water and is also captain of the England Blind Football Team.

Glaucoma

The software in the four-seater Piper Warrior light plane allows Mr Cunningham to receive constant updates on the plane's height, position and speed at the touch of a button.

His co-pilot will act as a look-out and check that the information from the computer is correct.

Mr Cunningham developed glaucoma at the age of eight and within four years he was totally blind.

In 1999, he became the fastest blind man on land when he achieved an average speed of more than 147mph driving a Chrysler Dodge Viper on a Leicestershire airfield.

In September 2000, he set a new offshore powerboat record in the English Channel off Bournemouth.




SEE ALSO:
Blind pilot on target for record
12 Jul 04  |  Oxfordshire
Blind land speed record broken
27 Sep 99  |  UK News


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