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275. Legendary Visitors

26/09/2016

For hang gliding and microlighting enthusiasts, Gerry Breen is a legend.

He was one of the first to fly a hang glider in the UK, in 1972. In 1975 he set up his own hang glider manufacturing company.

In 1976 he pioneered powered hang gliders, and claims to have invented the term ‘microlights’ to describe them.

And in 1985 he set up a microlight training school in the Algarve. More of his achievements are listed here, but you might be interested to watch the film of his flight in a hang glider from the top of the 3000ft Angel Falls in Venezuela.

His other major film is Iceland Breakthrough, involving microlights and canoes.

I’ve been fortunate to know Gerry for many years. His flying skills are legendary, and he taught me a huge amount about aerobatics when he took me for a flight in his Acrosport II, which I later photographed off the Algarve cliffs near his base at Lagos.

2016-09-19-gerry-breen

He had his daughter in the front seat, and I love this picture of the two of them.

2016-09-19-gerry-breen-and-daughter

The Acrosport is now owned by Ricardo and Tiago Tavares, and I go every year to carry out its annual inspection. Ricardo is a first officer with TAP, the Portuguese airline, and he’d arranged to take a look at the Scout during a layover in London. He arrived in Dorset in a hire car, but had totally failed to mention that he had Gerry with him, and it was a wonderful surprise and a huge pleasure to catch up with their news and a privilege to be able to show them 1264, even if the poor old thing had a replacement engine and no wings.

2016-09-19-gerry-breen-and-ricardo-tavares

 

 

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