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Paramotor pilot touches down in
by Graham Tutthill
Ex-paratrooper Colin Rees has landed in Kent this morning
after flying from Scotland by paramotor.
He touched down at the Duke of York's Royal Military
School at Dover at about 10.10am.
Colin, from Whitstable, had spent
most of Sunday on the ground near Basildon in Essex waiting for the
cooler evening air. And when he did try to launch again, he
suffered two engine failures.
After emergency repairs had been
carried out, he took off at around 6.30pm and flew to near
Faversham, where he spent the night. He took off again at
around 9am today and flew to Dover, and out over the Channel to
claim the coast-to-coast record before landing at the school.
Falklands War veteran, who took off from John O’Groats on Saturday
May 19, was scheduled to cover the 850 mile distance within two
But he made such good progress
that he landed three days early.
And it was not a moment too soon for
Colin, an inexperienced pilot who reached heights in excess of
5,000ft while navigating strong winds, fog, rain and bumpy heat
thermals causing dramatic zero gravity drops.
He also ran out of fuel while
flying over water and survived a crash landing.
His colleague Sarn Terry, son of Air
Marshall Sir Colin Terry, was injured during a hard landing in
Scotland so Colin has made most of the epic journey on his own.
Speaking after the landing, Colin
said: "It's been a very tough week and very challenging. We have
had some fantastic views and people have welcomed us wherever we
have landed. We are grateful for all the support."
Colin and Sarn aimed to raise £100,000
for Help For Heroes and they have so far raised around £78,000.
"Everywhere we’ve been, people have
come out to offer us food and drinks, a field to land and camp in
and encouragement," he said. "It’s been amazing."
The Duke of York’s Royal Military
School's headmaster Charles Johnson said the whole school and their
marching band came out in military uniform to welcome Colin.
"Our students have been following
Colin's progress in this truly inspirational feat. Help for
Heroes is an incredibly good cause and one which is close to the
hearts of our students whose families serve in the Armed
After landing, Colin spoke to many of
the pupils, including those whose parents serve in the Parachute
The whole expedition from first
training, to take off in John O’Groats and landing in Dover, ihas
been filmed by a professional film crew for a documentary/DVD which
will raise more money for Help4heroes.