Indian mom-daughter to create history by flying across the world in a microlight aircraft

Indian aviation, Mother daughter duo, Audrey maben, Bengaluru, gloval record, Sinus 912 light sports aircraft
Indian mom-daughter to create history by flying across the world in a microlight aircraft

Audrey Maben took to the skies at the age of 15 as a member of the National Cadet Corps’ Air Wing. Today at 41, she and her 18-year-old daughter Amy are all set to create history by flying a plane covering 40,000 kms and 21 countries over 90 days in a two-seater Sinus 912 light sports aircraft.

The duo will take off from New Delhi in early April and make 54 stops. They will then be the first women to circumnavigate the globe in a light aircraft. Calling it the WE! Expedition, an acronym for Women Empower, Maben’s goal is to strike a first for women the world over. “I want to see women travel alone by bikes and cars without a sense of fear or guilt,” she says. And she hopes this flight will play a role in that.

She is also trying to raise money through the WE! Udaan Foundation for young women to have the opportunity to enrol in flight schools and play a bigger role in the country’s aviation landscape.

Earlier, Maben set a national record by flying 2,400km from Bengaluru to Nagpur and back solo on a microlight. “I am also training physically and mentally in addition to the work I am putting in to planning to navigate the world,” she said.

The Sinus 912 motorglider, aka Mahi, is roughly one sixth the size of an Airbus 330. It is currently being screwed together by Aerosource, a Bengaluru-based aviation consultancy. The duo are flying light on this trip. “The aircraft is fully loaded so I am only carrying a change of clothes, some water and a few bars of chocolate on each leg. Also, my maps and a hand-held GPS that I never fly without,” she says.
Maben is looking forward to taking to the sky over long expanses of ocean. “While for me each leg is as exciting as the other, having flown over terra firma all these years I look forward to the ocean legs which has no reference on the ground. I also am excited about the very cold regions and floating icebergs.”

And when they stop off for breaks, she is looking forward to trying local cuisine. She has delegated the task of picking places to her co-pilot, Amy. “I am totally game to try out the local cuisine at each destination. My daughter who will be on board is my advisor on where we go and what we eat. I may need to carry some pills to look after a bad tummy just in case,” she says.


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