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Diabetic pilot makes north pole trip Print E-mail

Pilot Douglas Cairns flew in his twin engine Beech Baron, to the geographic north pole in April 2009. He landed a short distance from the pole, at the Russian Barneo ice research station, on wheels. He left on April 20th from Barrow, Alaska. Cairns has diabetes.  In the US, he is allowed to fly with diabetes.  In Canada, the rules are somewhat more restrictive.

According to this Reuters news article, the original plan included a support plane landing at the pole on skis to scout out a smooth ice surface for Cairns to put down his Baron.  Plans changed when the support plane wasn't able to make the trip.  Cairns headed for the Russian ice research station Barneo instead.  The Barneo ice station blog site has photos and video of Cairns' arrival there. There are also some great videos of other planes landing there.

Cairns planned to set a speed record beween Barrow and the pole, and to establish the Guiness World Record as the first to land a light twin piston engine aircraft at the pole.  He says he's making the trip to draw attention to what can be done by people and pilots with diabetes. Cairns has made a number of unique, awareness and fundraising flights, and has written a book about living and flying with diabetes.

Last Updated on Monday, 02 January 2012 12:42
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