Wellingborough man sets new aviation world record with London to Malta flight

The planes in loose formation over France.
The planes in loose formation over France.

A Wellingborough man has set a new world record by flying from London to Malta in a light aircraft before the sun had set.

Karl Beetson completed the gruelling ride in 12 hours and 48 minutes earlier this month in tandem with flying partner and mentor Douglas Cairns.

Karl after landing in Malta.

Karl after landing in Malta.

He had aimed to get to the Mediterranean island before sunset and managed to get there with just eight minutes to spare.

But he says his attempt was nearly ruined by a hungry Frenchman.

The 27-year-old said: “We stopped at Gap Tallard in the south of France to refuel but they’d gone for lunch!

“We really didn’t know if we were going to make it.

Karl (right) with flying partner Douglas Cairns.

Karl (right) with flying partner Douglas Cairns.

“It seems like a long time to be in the air but I didn’t feel too fatigued, the adrenaline kept me going.

“At times we reached a ground speed of 220mph.

“On the way back we did the trip in two days and it’s only then you realise how far it is, we covered a long distance.”

Mr Beetson has Type 1 diabetes and raised £600 for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund by taking on the challenge.

Karl also met people from the local diabetes association while he was there.

He added: “It was nice to raise some money but also to raise awareness of the condition.

“There are a lot of people who have Type 1 diabetes and in Malta there’s a bit of a stigma attached to it.

“We’ve proved what you can do even with diabetes.

“Some people try and hide it and that can be very tough.

“We’re hoping to fly across Scandinavia and too the Arctic circle next.”

To find out more about Karl’s adventures, visit www.flyingwithdiabetes.com.