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Last updated: 07 March, 2007 - Published 14:13 GMT
 
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Is this the world's most adventurous blind man?
 
Miles Hilton-Barber in his microlight prior to take-off
Hilton-Barber hopes to raise £1 million for the charity Seeing is Believing
One of the world's most adventurous blind people has talked to Outlook on the eve of his departure on another major expedition.

55-year old Miles Hilton-Barber has already competed in the gruelling Marathon des Sables, has climbed in the Himalayas, hurtled downhill on a bobsleigh, and holds the lap record for a blind man on the Malaysian Formula 1 motor-racing circuit.

Now he's embarking on a microlight flight from England to Australia.

His microlight has been specially adapted so that flight information is relayed through speech rather than visual display.

His one concession to officialdom and safety is to take along with him a co-pilot who'll act as his eyes - though Miles will do the flying.

"I just rely on the sighted person behind me for any difficult situations," said Miles, "Which is mostly coming in to land if we have any gusts or crosswinds."

Hilton-Barber started losing his sight at the age of 21 due to a genetic illness and had no useful sight by the time he was 30.

Hilton-Barber in the air
The 13,000 mile trip should take about 55 days

"I don't usually miss it now," he said, "I'm so happy with all the things I can do in my life by focussing on opportunities and not problems. It's not a big deal."

Hilton-Barber is hoping to raise a million dollars for Standard Chartered's charity 'seeing is believing' which sets out to restore sight to blind people in the developing world.

"I'm living a dream," he said, "And hoping to enable other blind people in the world to have their dream fulfilled of getting their sight back again."

The 13,000 mile flight is expected to take 55 days.

Outlook is interested in making contact with other people who are making the world a better place. If you know of someone please contact the programme using the link below.


 
 
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