42-year-old Audrey Maben, along with 19-year-old daughter Amy Mehta will be attempting to break a world record by flying a motorglider across 21 countries in 80 days. Their expedition is expected to take off in February next year on a Pipistrel Sinus, a specially designed aircraft which they have named 'Mahi'.
“I want to see women feeling empowered to take a motorglider or a microlight and go fly in any part of India,” said Maben, a microlight instructor and an ace glider pilot.
The dynamic duo will kick-start their tour around the planet from the Jakkur Aerodrome in Bengaluru and then fly eastwards towards Japan, followed by Russia, North America, Greenland, Europe, Middle East and Pakistan with around 54 pit-stops in between.
Throughout the journey, Maben’s 19-year-old daughter will help spread the word about their mission. “I am very excited about accompanying her. I am going to be the eyes and ears of my mom throughout. I am hoping to click a lot of pictures to document the expedition,” said Amy Mehta.
Both the mother and daughter have been undergoing rigorous physical exercises and have also been monitoring their nutritional intake so as to remain fit for the voyage. Maben is also confident about the safety measures that has been planned. “Unsuitable weather is definitely a concern, but, we will not be flying for too many hours at a stretch,” she said.
The larger purpose behind Maben undertaking the adventure is to raise funds and help underprivileged girls to learn flying through the ‘WE Udaan Scholarship Fund.’
Maben herself took to the skies when she was only 15 years old, as a member of the National Cadet Corps (NCC) in Bengaluru's Baldwin Girls' High School. She later obtained her Glider and Microlight Pilot license from IIT Kanpur’s gliding center.
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