Blesma Member Yanto Evans and his friend Ian Underwood are taking on a unique challenge for military charity Blesma, The Limbless Veterans.
The journey is anticipated to last five days and will cover over 2,700 miles. The aircraft Yanto will be using has no adaptations. On
their way around the country, Yanto and Ian are seeking to raise the
profile of Blesma and the work they do with injured veterans.
The two men met through their Flying Club, and when Yanto invited Ian to join him on the trip, he jumped at the chance.
Former Parachute Regiment soldier Yanto was working as a private
security contractor in Iraq when he suffered a gunshot wound to his leg
during a training exercise. Since his injury he has developed a
multitude of skills, including in motorsport with Race2Recovery, sailing
and learning how to fly.
Ian is a retired air-line pilot and lost his leg in a plane crash in 1987. Following his recovery he re-joined his airline and continued to
fly until his retirement. He is now a flying instructor.
On how he came up with the idea, Yanto said: “Earlier this year I
sailed around the UK which gave me the idea of doing the journey over
land, sea, and air. So this year I am doing the air leg, and next year I
plan to drive it to complete the trio! At the same time, I wanted to
raise awareness for Blesma, a charity that has given me some great
opportunities since my injury.”
Ian added: “Of course I couldn’t turn down the opportunity to join
Yanto on this lovely trip, especially as we are aiming to raise
awareness for such a good cause – I was more than happy to help!”
Starting at their home Airfield in Turweston, Northampton on Wednesday 21
September, the pair will fly their Piper Warrior light aircraft around Britain in an anticlockwise direction. Yanto will pilot with Ian being the co-pilot for the duration of the trip. From Turweston they will head east to Beccles in Norfolk, then turn north and follow the east coast all the way up through the Orkney Islands and the Shetland Islands, then west towards the Outer Hebrides where they will turn south towards Islay, going through the Isle of Mann, Haverfordwest and Perranporth in Cornwall before turning east back inland to Dunkeswell and Sandown on the south coast. From Sandown the last leg is back to the east coast at Beccles.
To support Yanto and Ian in their challenge, you can donate at: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Yanto-Evans
Blesma, The Limbless Veterans is the national charity for all
limbless service men and women, their widows and dependants. It was
formed in the years following the First World War and became a national
charity in 1932.