James Ketchell recently became the first person to fly around the world in his Magni Autogyro.
His incredible record-breaking flight was completed under FAI rules (Fédération Aéronautique Internationale) and in six months. Throughout, James used Trig equipment – a TY91 compact radio, TT22 transponder and TN72 GPS position source. Trig products meet mandates globally and can be used round the world.
One month after his incredible journey, Trig caught up with James. It is fair to say, James is used to more challenging conditions than most. He has climbed Mount Everest, rowed solo across the Atlantic Ocean, and cycled 18,000 miles around the world – fund raising every mile traveled.
We asked him what was most challenging aspect of his flight? James said, “The toughest part of the challenge was the logistics on the ground. Sometimes it would be quick and easy but sometimes it would take hours just to get fuel and get to the aircraft. The flying was often the easiest part of the whole trip.”
Many pilots would choose an enclosed aircraft to embark on a global flight. However, James flew an open cockpit gyrocopter with a Rotax engine. James said, “The aircraft could not have been more reliable, it was absolutely fantastic. Apart from a puncture I had no problems the whole way around the world.”
His Gyrocopter, G-KTCH is a standard production machine – except for a large long-range fuel tank. Built by the Magni-Gyro company (based in Varese, Italy) Magni Gyro claim to be the ‘makers of dreams, makers of emotions.’ James’s flight has certainly proved their slogan. James said, “The best thing about the Magni is the fantastic flying characteristics of the aircraft. The Magni M16 is well known for being the most stable Gyrocopter in the world. It really was so easy to fly and thoroughly enjoyable.”
When asked how he felt about flying over long stretches of water, he shared, “I had no problem flying over the water I had a lot of confidence in the aircraft, so it didn’t worry me one bit. By the end of the trip I enjoyed flying over water.”
James clearly has a huge amount of trust in his aircraft and with the number of hours he spent flying he knows his gyro inside and out. All in James said, “I think it was a total of around 380hrs to fly around the world.”
So, with confidence in his aircraft and 380 hrs under his belt the team at Trig wondered what his biggest surprise had been? He said, “The biggest surprise was just how big the world really is! It sounds daft but sometimes I would fly for days and the scenery wouldn’t change.”
Now that James has accomplished another incredible adventure, the Trig Team asked what’s next on the bucket list for this wanderlust serial adventurer? James said, “I will continue flying but will likely start working on a project to sail around the world in 2022.”
J.R. Tolken wrote, ‘Not all those who wander are lost.” James Ketchell clearly epitomises this statement. He is dedicated to fund raising for two charitable causes. Kindled Spirit, is aimed at raising awareness and support for the victims of trafficking. Over the Wall, provides free camps for children and their families – living with serious health challenges. During his global travels James attended talks and visits schools, speaking to young adults and children. His objective is to improve young people’s self-belief, motivating them to reach their goals and teaching the value of persistence through his adventures.
Whatever comes next, we wish James the very best of luck and are delighted that Trig compact products were an integral part of this world class achievement.