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Meet Brian Middleton, our expedition mechanic

 

Brian Middleton is our volunteer mechanic on the Flight of the Swans expedition. Here he tells us why he is so passionate about this adventure.

 

Q What prompted you to get involved in Flight of the Swans?

A few months ago I noticed the Flight of the Swans expedition on a paramotoring forum and it immediately caught my eye. I had heard of Sacha when I was in Australia, a few years back, and was pleasantly surprised to hear she was in the UK so I decided to get in touch. After a few emails and phone calls I was lucky enough to get a place on the selection weekend.

 

Q What are you looking forward to most about the expedition?

I love flying and I try and fly as many different things as often as possible! In 1983 I built my first ultralight aircraft and then in 1989 my first Paramotor.  I thought both were easy to build as I have an engineering background but looking back I now realise it was quite an achievement for a teenager without the internet or any flying background to help me. I can apply all these skills on this expedition and I will love the challenge.

 

Q How hard was the selection process?

The selection weekend was fantastic with lots of tasks involving teamwork and map reading. Having been a rescue team leader in the emergency services for many years I did expect what was thrown at us on the weekend. I was pleasantly surprised that we didn’t have to get too cold or too wet which we all joked about regularly. I look forward to spending lots more time with the rest of team.

 

Q What are you hoping you can bring to the expedition?

Flight of the Swans is not my first expedition. I have been on expeditions to many countries from Africa to Israel. The most recent one took me more than half way round the globe. I have been attacked by pirates, been stuck in a hurricane and even had an acquaintance eaten by a cannibal in the Marquesas Islands. Expeditions and adventure are in my nature and part of my life. I am really looking forward to making sure that everything mechanical is in good working order and telling stories around a campfire with the people we meet. I think this is a once in a lifetime trip supporting a very worthy cause.

 

Q What does the Flight of the Swans mean to you?

I was brought up in Africa and have always been close to nature. I have had many unusual pets and past times ranging from collecting poisonous snakes to having giant fruit bats roosting in my clothes cupboard. I love nature and have a huge passion for conservation and find myself extremely concerned about human impacts on our environment and what we might not be leaving for future generations.

You don’t have to be a volunteer on the expedition to make a difference.  You can do something as simple as sign our petition which demands protection for these birds and their valuable wetland habitats.