7 summits by Microlight

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15 Jan 2006, All done
6 Jan 2006, Highest tow yet
5 Jan 2006, Rivadavia
30 Dec 2005, Summit
25 Dec 2005, Feliz Navidad
15 Dec 2005, We have a convoy
17 Dec 2005, Desvio Las Lenas
14 Dec 2005, We are on our way
10 Dec 2005, The flight from hell
3 Dec 2005, Where we are going
17 Nov 2005, FIAT Wind Tunnel
1 Dec 2005, Kit is away
1 Jan 2005, 3rd place Best of ExplorersWeb 2004 Awards
24 May 2004, Summited Mt Everest
4 Feb 2005, RAeC Awards
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WINTEM 36hr at FL240
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News release: 17 Dec 2005, Desvio Las Lenas





Through a long and complicated series of family contacts I had been told of Jorge Di Benedetto who lives in Mendoza and is one of Argentina's few microlight manufacturers. He makes his own trikes and imports Aeros wings from Ukraine. Jorge (Beto to his friends) is an absolute star. He'd heard we were on our way and not long after we arrived in Mendoza he found us and he took me off to the AeroClub de Mendoza on the south side of town to meet the chaps there and to ask if I could base myself there before we move up the mountain.

Mendoza Aeroclub is extremely ancient, it was founded in 1914, but reality suggests it has seen better days. It consists of three hangars, a small office and a 1200m tarmac strip which is quite overgrown. It is none the less active, they have a couple of club PA38's and some other light aircraft are based there, and despite the fact that microlights in Argentina are completely 'outside' the system and aren't really liked very much by GA people they were more than welcoming; yes, we would be delighted to offer you some hangar space to put your kit together and fly a couple of test flights.

Yesterday we set off again up the mountain to look at the place Angelo had recce'd a few months ago as our 'advance base camp'.

Back on highway 7 again. The three hour drive took us through the 'Pre-cordillera' up and up through increasingly spectacular scenery to the snow capped Andean Cordillera itself. For most of the way the road runs alongside a railway line (built by the British) which was sadly closed after 100 years of use in 1989 as no longer economic, it must have been one of the Worlds great rail journeys, and the only railway which went from coast to coast in South America. Still, this was to our advantage as the abandoned railway station at Desvio Las Leñas* make the perfect advanced base camp, one of the buildings is in quite good shape and quite quickly we had it swept out, fixed up some lights from our generator and generally made it quite cosy.

Tomorrow Nicky and our Children arrive at Santiago, Chile. Angelo's off to climb Aconcagua on foot and I'm going back to Mendoza to get all our kit ready at the Aeroclub.

* Desvio Las Leñas: The best translation seems to be 'woody siding' but there's not a tree for miles...

ICARO 2000 Hang Gliding World Champion
Outdoor sport professionals choose Ferrino to help them meet fresh challenges
ALPHA emergency parachute
The FIAT group
P&M AVIATION manufacturers of fine microlight Aircraft
Survival Equipment Services Ltd, Suppliers of ELT to the expedition.
BAILEY AVIATION manufacturers of Paramotors and automotive sport acessories
Articole Studios - GRP mouldings
P&M AVIATION manufacturers of fine microlight Aircraft
O-ZEE flight suits.  Suppliers of Bar-mitts to the expedition.
SKYDRIVE, the UK Distributor of ROTAX engines
P&M AVIATION; UK dealer for Warp Drive Propellors
PARAMINA; Suppliers of Oxygen equipment to the expedition
Neltec flexible heaters to keep Angelo's nosecone clear
FLYCOM Intercom and Radio equipment
AV8 Systems video gear
Gerbings heated clothing
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25 Dec 2005
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