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Disabled pilot plans to make fastest round-world trip

Former Malaysian Air Force pilot plans to begin his journey next April

PUBLISHED : Monday, 17 July, 2017, 5:43pm
UPDATED : Monday, 17 July, 2017, 5:45pm

Khamaruzaman Mohd Yusof, a former Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) officer and a person with disabilities, wants to set a world record by flying solo around the world next year.

The 57-year-old served the RMAF for 13 years from 1979, where he developed his love for flying.

He took up flying courses and received his pilot’s wings from the Southern Illinois University in the United States using his own funds.

Khamaruzaman became physically disabled in 2007 after an accident while cutting a tree, which put him in a coma for three months and paralysed him for four years.

He was eventually back on his feet again, but his left leg had atrophied and become shorter by six inches.

Five years later, he was involved in another horrible accident that left him with a broken leg.

Khamaruzaman said he aims to be the first disabled person to carry out the fastest solo flight around the world.

“For this mission, I went through six months of training at the Manila Aeroclub Flying Academy in Makati City in the Philippines.

“I plan to embark on the mission from Kuala Pilah in April 2018,” he told reporters after the launch of his “OKU (disabled) Solo Flight Around the World” project by the Undang Luak Johol Datuk Johan Pahlawan Lela Perkasa Sitiawan, Datuk Mu­­ham­­med Abdullah, here yesterday.

Khamaruzaman plans to fly westward across 22 countries covering a distance of 40,000km through Thai­land, Myanmar, India, Oman, Saudi Arabia and then to the Antarctica.

“God willing, for this mission I will use Cessna TTx, a lightweight high performance aircraft with a maximum altitude of 25,000 feet.

“I also plan to introduce Johol and Malaysia during my excursion. I will talk to the Foreign Ministry as well as the Tourism and Culture Ministry on this matter,” he said.

As the project will involve a whopping RM5 million (US$1.17 million) to execute, including costs for accommodation and meals, he is hoping to garner support and sponsorships from corporate bodies to ensure the mission’s success.

Khamaruzaman said he will contact the Malaysia Book of Records and the Guinness World Records in relation to his project. — Bernama

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