Flying American adventurer to visit Papua New Guinea
By STEVEN MAGO :
IN EARLY June, some towns and tourist spots in PNG will play host to a flying American tourist. He will land in Rabaul from Munda in the Solomon Islands. The flying adventurer, 52 year old Robert Gannon from San Diego from Southern California is travelling around the world, meeting the people and experiencing local cultures. He is also attempting the longest aeronautical leg without an alternate (a place to land).
Mr Gannon is circumnavigating the globe in his small Cessna 182L, which he named Lucky Lady Too in memory of the first Lucky Lady, a Cherokee which he crashed when taking off from Nairobi, Kenya on his African leg of his solo flight around the world in 1992. The plane was a write-off but he walked away from the wreck unscathed.
Mr Gannon bought Lucky Lady Too in 2000, when he was approaching 50, to complete the mission he started to see the world.
His PNG visit will be his last stop in his tour of Melanesia which will cover New Caledonia, Vanuatu and Solomon Islands.
After his Rabaul port of call, he will visit Hoskins, Kiriwina, Tufi, Port Moresby, Goroka and Mt Hagen where he will leave the plane with a pilot friend to return to the US and re-enter PNG in September in time for the Goroka Show, among other tourist destinations including Tari, Ambunti, Vanimo, Karawari, Madang and Manus.
Mr Gannon will leave via Momote (Manus) to continue north to Truk, Guam, Saipan and further north to Japan.
He has flown around the Hawaiian Islands, Christmas Island (Republic of Kiribati), French Polynesian Islands, Cook Islands, Samoa, Tonga, Fiji, Norfolk Island, New Zealand, Lord Howe and Australia.
Robert says he is looking forward to his tour of PNG.
He added: “I hope to see and experience the different cultures, meet the people, scenery, sights, sounds, tastes, smells, thoughts and beliefs.”
By the time he covers PNG, Mr Gannon will have visited 36 countries and landed at approximately 220 places in those countries.
PNG journalist, travel writer and tourism promoter, Steven Mago will guide Robert during some of the PNG legs of the tour.
Mr Gannon in front of his plane.. Photograph by Joseph Johnson of Ashburton Guardian. :
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