15.3 C
Byron Shire
April 13, 2021

Record breaking flight reaches Byron

Latest News

Local sailor triumphs in blustery Brisbane to Gladstone yacht race

Local sailor Craig Watson battled near gale-force winds on Coopers to have one of his best ever Brisbane to Gladstone yacht races claiming fourth place in line honours.

Other News

A win for the roughy

The battle for the 'roughy had been a tough road for conservationists and hopefully this win will be the last fight.

Local sailor triumphs in blustery Brisbane to Gladstone yacht race

Local sailor Craig Watson battled near gale-force winds on Coopers to have one of his best ever Brisbane to Gladstone yacht races claiming fourth place in line honours.

Dead rats in the Byron bubble?

Poppa Veet Mayo, Main Arm Am I the only one who can smell a dead rat in this bubble called...

Byron Council explores community land trust option for affordable housing

Could the creation of a Community Land Trust in the Byron Shire provide desperately needed, genuinely affordable housing for locals on low incomes?

Mullum’s lilac house the subject of Change.org petition

The plight of a Mullum resident has touched the hearts and injustice buttons of people far and wide who feel that a requirement that she repaint her house a heritage colour and possibly pay a fine, not only ridiculous but also petty.

Council crews working hard to repair potholes

Tweed Shire Council road maintenance crews are out across the Tweed's road network repairing potholes and other damage caused by the recent prolonged rainfall and previous flood events.

Paul Bibby

It was little more than a slow-moving dot in mid-morning sky – barely enough to make a cockatoo look twice.

But the ‘nanolight’ that landed quietly at Tyagarah airstrip last Thursday was anything but insignificant.

The plane and its pilot, Mark Rindel, had just completed a record-breaking flight across the country, travelling from Australia’s most westerly point to its most easterly tip, here in the Byron Shire.

Mark Rindel has set a record with a flight from Australia’s most westerly point to the most easterly.
Photo Jeff Dawson

Rindel flew the tiny, 80kg plane up to six hours a day for more than a month, breaking the record for the lightest flight from one end of Australia to the other, and he is the first solo nanoflight pilot to cross the red centre.

‘It’s such a light plane – I was like a cork in the ocean up there at times,’ the Melbourne-based pilot said.

‘I would get tossed around and thrown around – some days I just about wanted to give up,’ he said.

‘Other days, it was just absolutely serene.’

After leaving from Western Australia’s Shark Bay on June 24, Rindel flew the tiny plane for up to 300km a day – the maximum its matchbox engine could manage.

Hairy moments 

There were more than a few hairy moments, including the flight over Tenterfield, where he had to soar to 6,000 feet to safely clear the Great Dividing Range.

Thankfully, he was supported by a ground crew, led by his wife Penny, who accompanied the flight by car, carrying supplies of fuel, food, and water.

‘There is absolutely no way I could have done it without her,’ Rindel says. 

‘There was a whole stretch of about 1,000km where there was nothing – just desert as far as you could see, so we needed to pretty much carry everything with us.’

The inspiration for the flight came from one of Rindel’s dear friends, who came up with the idea but never got the chance to bring it to fruition.

‘John unfortunately passed away, and one day I just thought: “What the hell – why don’t I do it anyway”,’ he says.

‘So I did. You’ve just got to do these things sometimes.’

Rindel is already planning his next nanolight adventure.

‘There’s an old postal route in the US, with white marker stones that are still visible,’ he says.

‘It’s another journey West to East. I’d love to give it a go.’


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

2 COMMENTS

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Local girls go big at Oz grom cup

Byron Bay’s Leihani Kaloha Zoric won her second Billabong Oz Grom Cup title, taking out the 10-and-under girls division at Park beach in Coffs Harbour last weekend.

Sprout lovers

Sprouts can sometimes be overlooked on the weekly grocery list… except for those in the know, of course!

Interview with Mitch King from Dream Bigger

Dream Bigger is presenting Lismore Youth Festival in partnership with numerous organisations in Lismore. Dream Bigger connects established artists with potential future artists to make their ideas a reality through engaging workshops and collaboration. The Echo spoke to Mitch King from Dream Bigger.

Entertainment in the Byron Shire and beyond for the week beginning 14 April, 2021

Entertainment in the Byron Shire and beyond for the week beginning 14 April, 2021