National Geographic: Flight Over Africa

Synopsis:
Year:
1994
3 Views

There are still a few places left

that you can't

get to from here.

Places without phones

or faxes or even roads.

There are still a few corners

of the globe so remote

they remain aloof from

what we call the modern world.

This is the realm

of the bush pilot.

Tom Clayton is leaving

behind his family

and friends for a two-year

adventure around the world.

The 28-year-old Radnor

resident checks out

his single engine plane

for the last time

before taking a solo flight

from wings Airport in Norristown.

The purpose is to try

and go to seven continents

in different parts

of the world and live

and work with

bush pilots.

As a bush pilot

Claytor will fly daredevil

routes while delivering

vital supplies to remote areas.

So before taking to the skies

Claytor got his

hugs and kisses

while cameras recorded

all the action.

And there was even

a special goodbye.

Then as the crowd

looked on

the pilot closed the cockpit door

and took off.

The day he left,

he made the local TV news.

If he makes it back,

he'll make history.

Tom Claytor hopes to be

the first to fly around the world

Stopping on all seven continents

before returning home

I had this tremendous desire

inside to look at other places

to look in places like

Greenland and the Sahara Desert.

Things that I'd only seen

on the map in high school.

So I think it's a desire

to look at different parts of the world

and to live with people

on other parts of the world

but maybe also it's

a little challenge

or test for myself as well.

Claytor is 31 years old.

When he was 12

he set foot in an airplane

for the first time.

It was to be the start of

an obsession

When he was just 18

he earned a pilot's license.

By his early 20s

he had begun working

as a bush pilot in Africa.

Today, Claytor owns his own airplane

named "Timmissartok"

after one of Lindbergh's planes.

Outrigged with

a special reserve tank

the Cessna 180 Taildragger

can fly about 14 hours

without refueling.

The struggle to keep

his gas tank

full has shaped

Claytor's journey from the very start.

I left home

with $20,000.

And when I

got to Greenland

it cost me $1,000 to fill up

my gas tank once.

So it became very obvious

that I was going to have to

find ways of getting money.

And my idea which was

only an idea when I left

was that I'd work the plane on the way.

And when I got to Niger

I found a job doing

a survey of a park

which paid me $8,000.

So I've been able to find jobs

for the plane on the way.

Besides working the

plane as he goes,

Claytor's writing a book

about his experience

in the far corners

of the world.

So far, he's logged

three continents

and 28 countries.

On December 2, 1990

he left Pennsylvania

heading north through

Canada to Greenland

and then Iceland.

In the summer of '91,

he arrived in Europe.

And early in '92

he began traveling

through Africa.

The longest leg of

Claytor's journey

so far has been

on the Africa continent.

His video journal

is testimony to a rare

and spontaneous adventure.

We're now in... market

which is the largest

market in West Africa

We're now in...

and Mr... has with

him scorpions

And now he's going

to show me that he can use his

so that the scorpions

don't bite you

we just did this once before

I hope it's successful again.

Okay...

It's starting to rain now.

Now in southwest Africa

Claytor has spent the

last few weeks

exploring the country

of Namibia.

Today, he plans to visit

an area rich in African history

a group of abandoned towns

near the Namibian coast.

There's a town southwest

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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"National Geographic: Flight Over Africa" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2019. Web. 23 Oct. 2019. <https://www.scripts.com/script/national_geographic%3A_flight_over_africa_14534>.

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