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Sacha Dench, Expedition Leader

With four years paramotoring experience, eight years paragliding expertise, and a day job – as WWT’s head of media – Flight of the Swans leader, Sacha, is at home in the skies. And she’s no stranger to the oceans either. In fact Sacha’s a British national free-diving champion – able to hold her breath for an astonishing 6 minutes and 22 seconds. Such endurance will be vital for success. That’s why Sacha is pursuing a training regime so she hits peak fitness for the flight of her life later this year.

Support

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Peter Cranswick, Expedition Manager

Peter is in charge of all operational tasks, including logistics, finances, and health and safety. He will be supporting the ground crew when Sacha is in the air.

 

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Brian Middleton, Team Mechanic and Engineer

Brian is in charge of keeping all team vehicles and machinery on the road - and in the sky. As an experienced pilot, he will also be checking all pilot protocols are being met.

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Sue Keene, Chef de Cuisine

Although all team members will be given cooking duties, Sue will be in charge of the camp kitchen. She will also play a key part in welcoming the locals into the camp to share and cook their food with us.

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Carolyn Gardner and Paolo Bellezze, Weather Forecasters

Using Met Office and other data Carolyn and Paolo will provide daily weather forecasts and advice to the expedition team. They will also be on hand to advise the HQ team on weather related issues that may affect the live broadcast part of the video diaries.

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Elinor Young, Medic

As team medic, Elinor’s job is to take control in case of any medical emergency, but also to look after the general health and wellbeing of the team. As ground crew leader she will be in charge of the team when Sacha is flying.

Pilots

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Alexander Bogdanov, Paramotorist

Alexander will be joining Sacha in the air as she makes her way over the Russian tundra. With years of experience flying over this terrain his knowledge of the area and his support in communicating with the locals they meet will be invaluable.

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Rob Keene, Microlight Pilot

Rob is our backup plan. He will be flying with Sacha if she needs to catch up with the swans, he will also be in charge of search and rescue if Sacha’s paramotor goes down in a remote area.

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Jocky Sanderson, Thames crossing rescue

As a Thames crossing boat rescue expert, Jocky will be on hand for Sacha’s record-breaking attempt to be the first woman to fly across the channel in a paramotor. Fingers crossed we won’t need to call on his expertise.

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Stuart Savage, Paramotorist and Flight Manager

Stuart will accompany Sacha in the air from Estonia back to the UK. He is in charge of planning the flight routes with paramotorists from all countries across the flyway once the team have left Russia.

MEDIA

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Amber Eames - Senior Content Creator

As an experienced filmmaker and camera person Amber will be directing and producing the content and documentary for Flight of the Swans

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Dan Burton

As a cameraman and photographer, who also happens to be a paramtorist, Dan will be joining Sacha in the skies for the Russian leg of the journey. We’re hoping to see some great footage of Sacha flying.

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Ben Cherry

Ben will be using his skills as a wildlife photographer to capture the wildlife and conservation stories along the flyway. He will also be keeping us up to date with what’s happening on the ground via social media updates.

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Matt Harris

Matt will be operating the drones for aerial filming. He will also be filming with the RED cinema cameras to produce cinema quality content for our live broadcasts and the documentary.

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Steve Flanagan

Steve is a 360 video and timelapse photography specialist, so prepare to experience the natural world as you’ve never seen it before. He will also be responsible for our weekly broadcasts for schools.

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Ben Sadd

As an experienced wildlife cameraman Ben will be contributing to all our media but will be responsible for making sure we are filming with a feature length documentary in mind. He will be filming with the RED cinema cameras.

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Sam Vadas

Sam will act as production manager throughout the trip, helping to keep the media team on track. As the only journalist on the trip she will be looking out for stories and lining up interviews. She will be our main contact for journalists visiting or joining the expedition for short stretches.

How you can help

WWT's pioneering conservation work continues, saving endangered wildlife and the wetlands they need to survive.