Amputee pair take on Round Britain Flight Challenge for charity
Blesma Member Yanto Evans and his friend Ian Underwood are taking on a unique challenge for military charity Blesma, The Limbless Veterans.
The journey is anticipated to last five days and will cover over 2,700 miles. The aircraft Yanto will be using has no adaptations. On their way around the country, Yanto and Ian are seeking to raise the profile of Blesma and the work they do with injured veterans.
The two men met through their Flying Club, and when Yanto invited Ian to join him on the trip, he jumped at the chance.
Former Parachute Regiment soldier Yanto was working as a private security contractor in Iraq when he suffered a gunshot wound to his leg during a training exercise. Since his injury he has developed a multitude of skills, including in motorsport with Race2Recovery, sailing and learning how to fly.
Ian is a retired air-line pilot and lost his leg in a plane crash in 1987. Following his recovery he re-joined his airline and continued to fly until his retirement. He is now a flying instructor.
On how he came up with the idea, Yanto said: “Earlier this year I sailed around the UK which gave me the idea of doing the journey over land, sea, and air. So this year I am doing the air leg, and next year I plan to drive it to complete the trio! At the same time, I wanted to raise awareness for Blesma, a charity that has given me some great opportunities since my injury.”
Ian added: “Of course I couldn’t turn down the opportunity to join Yanto on this lovely trip, especially as we are aiming to raise awareness for such a good cause – I was more than happy to help!”
Starting at their home Airfield in Turweston, Northampton on Wednesday 21st September, the pair will fly their Piper Warrior light aircraft around Britain in an anticlockwise direction. Yanto will pilot with Ian being the co-pilot for the duration of the trip. From Turweston they will head east to Beccles in Norfolk, then turn north and follow the east coast all the way up through the Orkney Islands and the Shetland Islands, then west towards the Outer Hebrides where they will turn south towards Islay, going through the Isle of Mann, Haverfordwest and Perranporth in Cornwall before turning east back inland to Dunkeswell and Sandown on the south coast. From Sandown the last leg is back to the east coast at Beccles.
To support Yanto and Ian in their challenge, you can donate at: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Yanto-Evans
Blesma, The Limbless Veterans is the national charity for all limbless service men and women, their widows and dependants. It was formed in the years following the First World War and became a national charity in 1932.
Notes to Editor
Hi-res images can be downloaded from the links below:
Ian Underwood (L) and Yanto Evans (R): https://blesma.org/media/438834/img_2292.jpg
About Blesma, The Limbless Veterans
Blesma, The Limbless Veterans is the national charity for all limbless serving and ex-service men and women, their widows and dependants. It is a membership organisation which helps wounded service men and women rebuild their lives by providing rehabilitation activities and welfare support. Their membership includes those who have lost the use of a limb, an eye or the sight of an eye.
Blesma was formed in the years following the First World War and became a national charity in 1932. Blesma today has around 3,500 Members and widows. The membership consists of men and women who have served during the Second World War and the many subsequent conflicts and peacekeeping operations since, including the Falklands, Northern Ireland, Iraq and Afghanistan.
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For further information on Blesma, The Limbless Veterans, contact
Bryony Stevens, Media and Communications Officer
T: 020 8590 1124