jueves, 11 de octubre de 2012

Paraplegic flies to Sydney in microlight plane

This piece of news is one year old, but I think it's interesting enough to grab our attention and give us a reason for listening.
Self-study activity:
Watch the two-minute clip and answer the questions below.

1 How long did Dave take to fly from England to Australia?
2 How long did he take to prepare for the flight?
3 Why is Dave paralysed?
4 What happened when he was flying over Burma?
5 What does 18 refer to in the clip?
6 What made Dave fly to Australia?
7 What problem did he have when he was flying over Iran?
8 How will the microlight be travelling back to Britain?

To check your answers, you can read the transcript below.

The long flight to the other side of the world in a normal plane is tough enough, so imagine making the journey in a flimsy microlight. It’s taken Dave Sykes four months to travel almost 12,000 miles to Sydney from his home in Yorkshire. Unsurprisingly when the Opera House and Harbour came into view it was an emotional moment.
I could see the bridge in front of me - I thought, this is what I've planned for two years for. This is the actual final flight of it all. I just couldn't stop smiling really, and then flying over the actual bridge, looking at all the people doing the bridge walk waving at me. That was something else was that.
It is an incredible achievement, but even more so for Dave. He’s paralysed from the waist down, after breaking his back in a motorbike accident. With his wheelchair strapped to his aircraft, nothing was going to stop this Yorkshire man making the trip of a lifetime, not even a horrendous lightning storm over Burma.
There was a big flash and the aircraft shuddered with a lightening strike at the side of me and blew all the fuses out on the instruments. It got to the point where I wasn't scared any more, and I was just trying to survive, you know, and not crash.
Crossing oceans, deserts and jungle Dave flew over 18 countries and who needs in-flight movies when you have a front-row seat of the best views Mother Nature can provide. Raising money for Yorkshire’s air ambulance, Dave coped with sand storms and even the threat of being shot down over Iran. Now, though, he’s just ready to head home. And in case you’re wondering, Dave won’t be going home by propeller power but rather in a normal airplane. As for the microlight, well that’s going to be packed up, put in a container and will head back to Britain by sea.
Dave flew all the way to Australia on just a wing and a chair, something worth considering next time you complain about being on a long-haul flight.
Jonathan Samuels, Skynews, Sidney