Teen World Flight pilot Ryan Campbell will bypass the Egyptian leg of his solo round the world record attempt, after making the decision to abandon his planned arrival at Aswan Airport in the south of Egypt. Due to the escalating political crisis in Egypt, Campbell will now fly to Aqaba in Jordan for a one night stop over on Thursday, August 22.
“Working with Mike Gray and White Rose Aviation we have decided to change the routing to avoid a stopover in Egypt due to the current political situation.”
On Wednesday August 21 he will fly from Rhodes, Greece to Aqaba in Jordan, a leg of 600 nautical miles over the Mediterranean, which will take about five hours flying time. After a one night stopover he will continue to Muscat, Oman.
“This will put me back on track with our original schedule. I plan to continue on with the planned routing and time frame from Muscat onwards.”
The decision to alter the route from Aswan to Aqaba was made in consultation with General Aviation Support Egypt, who had this to say:
“As discussed with Mike Gray, this is the right decision at this tense time. We are sorry Ryan Campbell didn't get to see Egypt in better times but maybe one day he will fly here again.”
Ryan said he has been in touch with a number of other pilots who are all making the same diversion to Jordan due to the Egyptian crisis.
Sounding very tired, when he spoke to the News Weekly yesterday afternoon, August 20, Ryan explained that he had not been well received when he landed at Rhodes airport on Sunday. A very unhappy airport manager threatened to fine him five thousand Euros and direct him to leave immediately as he hadn’t provided the obligatory 48 hours notice of his arrival. Fortunately, the handling company he had engaged was able to negotiate with the official and secured a three day permit. Ryan says he will in future run triple checks ahead and make sure all such protocols are followed.
After he leaves Jordan he confronts three more long legs - Colombo, Sri Lanka; Padang in Indonesia, and then Port Headland, WA where the aircraft will receive a major service.
He still has a long way to go, but Ryan is confident he will be back home as scheduled on September 7. “When I look at a calendar I feel good,” he said.