An Interview with Aaron Robinson

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Update with Aaron
26th September, 2016:

Q: The biggest thing recently seems to be the flight test. Can you tell us about the preparation work and how everything happened on the day of? Was it successful? Did it bring to light any issues that need resolving?

When working up to the flight test we did encounter a few setbacks which delayed it as we had to make sure that the plane was 100% ready to fly. We had to go over every little part and check it which meant we had to do more engine tests. When we were testing the engine we did find a few problems such as a fuel leak which we solved... we then had a problem because the engine was overeating but that was down to an air filter being in the wrong place and the last setback we had was another fuel leak which was an easy fix. Overall it was a huge success and we were all really happy to see her flying!

Q: You recently passed your motorcycle license as well right? How was that? Are there any similarities that you’ve noticed between driving a motorbike and flying a plane?

I was really excited about passing my motorcycle licence because I have been interested in them for a long time and it was really good to start riding them. It also helps as it means I can get around easier. One similarity I have noticed is that both flying and riding require a good sense of balance and also special awareness, other than that I haven’t noticed anything else.

Q: What’s the next step in getting you prepared for the big day?

The next thing that I will be doing is to carry on doing flight training to build hours for my pilots licence and then eventually fly solo before starting to learn in our plane. Also, we still have to do a lot more planning to get where we need to be.

We are excited to watch the year unfold and look forward to keeping up with Aaron and the team as they continue the preparation work for Aaron's circumnavigation.

Our first interview with Aaron:

Q: At what age did you get into planes and aviation? Have you always wanted to be a pilot?

I have liked aircrafts from a young age but it wasn’t until i joined The Spirit of Goole that I wanted to become a pilot which was when I was about 13 years old.

Q: I’ve heard about Barrington Irving being the youngest to circumnavigate the globe back in 2007,  but he was almost a decade older than you (23 at the time) – have there been any younger pilots to do it since? Are there any pilots that you look up to in particular?

On the 15th of July 2014 there was a 19 year old called Matt Guthmiller from South Dakota, USA who has also completed this journey at 19, but in a larger plane and not one that he had helped build from scratch.

Q: You’ve spent the last 2 ½ years building the light aircraft that you’ll circumnavigate the globe in – can you tell us a little about the journey? For example, what skills did you and your friends have to learn to be able to do this?

I first heard about this project when I was in year 8, I think and I heard there will be a project running where you can go in and build a light aircraft so I decided to join and go there regularly, from then lots of people have come and gone learning various different skills along the way such as metalwork, which is no longer taught in schools, wood work and fiberglass work which are all useful skills to know and which have lots of applications.  My friends that are still going (to The Spirit of Goole) are people I knew before the project, who also joined at the beginning and stayed throughout but I have also made some friends through this project. Whilst here,  I have also used different interesting materials which I did not know existed, for example a materiel called Oratex which is use to cover the aircraft.

Q: When is the test flight happening?

We do not know the exact date when the test flight will be happening but it will be fairly soon as we are nearly finished with the aircraft. We only have to do bits of fine tuning and the propeller to do on the aircraft.

Q: Your take off is set for July of next year. How long is the circumnavigation expected to take in total? Will you be taking off from your hometown?

It is expected to take around the region of 80 days and I think I will be taking off from either a nearby airfield called Breighton or an airport at Doncaster which is about 26 miles away, both in Yorkshire

Q: With just over a year to go, what do you think are the most important challenges you will need to overcome in the run-up, is there a way our readers can help?

I think the hardest thing to do at this moment is to learn all the theory ready for when I take my licence so I am ready for it and I know everything I need to and I also need time to get experience in flying too. That’s not to mention all the survival skills that I will have to learn as well.