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Irishman and daughter unhurt after vintage airplane they were piloting crashes in Kenya

John Ordway and his daughter Isabella have been taking part in the Vintage Air Rally which journeys from Greece to Africa over the course of five weeks every year.

fb1 The crashed Boeing Stearman Facebook / John Ordway Facebook / John Ordway / John Ordway

AN IRISH FATHER and daughter team taking part in a cross-Africa rally have escaped unhurt after crashlanding their 1930s biplane on the way to Kenya’s capital Nairobi as part of an annual vintage air rally.

“Team Eagle in a Boeing Stearman have suffered total engine failure and made a forced landing. We are happy to say and terribly relieved that both crew are uninjured, but the aircraft is irreparably damaged,” the Vintage Air Rally said on its Facebook page of the incident which took place yesterday.

The pilots are John Ordway, a native of Co Meath,  and his daughter Isabella.

“Thanks to everyone for their texts and emails. To confirm: we had a complete engine failure 80 miles from Nairobi (the end part for our vintage air rally) and had to crash land,” Ordway wrote on Facebook in the aftermath of the crash.

var Facebook / Vintage Air Rally Facebook / Vintage Air Rally / Vintage Air Rally

fb2 Facebook / John Ordway Facebook / John Ordway / John Ordway

Both Bella and I are thankfully fine. The plane was destroyed but we walked away without a scratch.
Given our detainment in Ethiopia and this, I can honestly say, we are ready to come home!

“We are lucky to be alive,” the Irishman told Kenyan website the Daily Nation immediately following the crash.

The detainment mentioned above occurred after a mix-up with flight permits saw the teams stranded in the east African country for two days.

About a dozen planes from the 1920s and 1930s are taking part in the 13,000 kilometre (8,000 mile) journey from the Greek island of Crete to Cape Town – an extraordinary bid in aircraft with no autopilot, automation or protection from the elements.

The teams recently became the first group of aircraft to land at Egypt’s Giza pyramids in 80 years.

However they finally made it to Kenya where they today flew their vintage planes above Nairobi’s famed National Park, where lions, zebra and giraffe roam in the shadow of the city.

The adventure-filled rally has also seen maverick 72-year-old British pilot Maurice Kirk go missing twice. After being released from Ethiopia he landed up in conflict-torn South Sudan instead of Kenya.

“Locals found him and called a Brit in Juba they recently worked for. He contacted the British embassy in Juba,” the rally’s organisers said on their Facebook page yesterday.

With AFP

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