On May 12, 2014, FlyRTW80 launched from Toronto Island’s Billy Bishop Airport in a bid to fly two overlapping orbits around the world in support of SickKids Foundation and Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance.
Exactly one year later, on May 12, 2015, Dave McElroy was awarded the Norton Griffiths Challenge Trophy by the Royal Aero Club. Andrew Haines, Chief Executive of the Civil Aviation Authority, presented the prestigious award at the RAF Club in London’s Piccadilly Street. He noted this award is not presented every year, rather it is awarded when warranted to “aviators undertaking outstanding feats of courage, tenacity and imagination unrelated to traditional sporting events.”
Chris Elgar, Dave’s partner on the FlyRTW80 Project and owner the project’s Comanche aircraft, C-FYHU, travelled from Toronto to join Dave in celebrating the occasion.
FlyRTW80 flew 35,500 nautical miles (66,000 km), making 59 stops in 29 countries as it traversed five continents and crossed the Atlantic Ocean three times.
The project has raised over $80,000 for SickKids and more than £35,000 for SCAA so far. The website www.FlyRTW80.com is open for donations to either of these excellent, life-saving charities. McElroy has now finished writing a book about the project. Entitled Low Earth Orbit, it is expected to be published later this year. Proceeds will go to SickKids and SCAA.