Flying from Mizen to Malin by paramotor makes history

Kerry adventurer and polar explorer Mike O'Shea has become the first person to fly from Mizen Head to Malin Head by paramotor.

An adventurer and polar explorer, always on the lookout for new challenges, has become the first person to fly from Mizen Head to Malin Head by a paramotor.

Travelling at heights of up to 10,000ft, sometimes in sub-zero temperatures, Mike O’Shea completed the 590km journey over three days.

Also known as powered paragliding, paramotoring involves a small motor with a propeller — worn like a backpack by the flyer — under a paraglider wing.

The Kerry native navigated his journey and monitored his health through hazardous conditions using mobile technology.

His flight was supported by Vodafone Ireland to mark the launch of a global initiative that encourages people to do something remarkable for the first time.

The adventurer’s route took him past iconic landmarks including Inch Beach, the dizzy heights of the Cliffs of Moher and Ben Bulben Mountain.

The changing weather conditions and strong gusty winds that threatened to scupper the flight were monitored closely by his support team using mobile phones and tablets.

GPS tracking made ground-to-air monitoring of Mr O’Shea possible during the flight when clouds obscured visibility.

The team was able to check in regularly with him and a helicopter shadowed the flight via high definition mobile calls which picked up even the faintest transmissions.

He also wore a smart watch which enabled the team to monitor vital signs including the strength of his heartbeat at all times.

Mr O’Shea said: “I’ve achieved many things in my life but this certainly ranks up there with the best of them. And the great thing is that I can also share it with anyone who wants to watch.”

The Dingle man’s career as an adventurer began at the age of 13 when he started climbing in the MacGillcuddy Reeks in Co Kerry.

He has previously crossed Lake Baikal in northern Russia, Chile’s north Patagonian ice cap and the southern ice cap on Kilimanjaro as part of The Ice Project, as well as attempting to reach the North Pole on two occasions.


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