Around-the-world helicopter trip stops in Abbotsford

Crew drops by Abbotsford's airport during first Russian helicopter flight around the world

Four men aiming to be the first Russians to fly a helicopter around the world stopped by the Abbotsford Airport on Aug. 26.

Four men aiming to be the first Russians to fly a helicopter around the world stopped by the Abbotsford Airport on Aug. 26.

Four visitors from Russia touched down at the Abbotsford Airport on Monday, stopping by on their flight around the world.

The men hope to become the first Russians to fly around the world in a helicopter. On completion, it will also be the first around-the-world flight for the model of helicopter they are using – the Robinson R66.

Dmitry Rakitsky, Vadim Melnikov, Mikhail Farikh and Alexander Kurylev landed in two helicopters in Abbotsford around noon on Monday. The men left Moscow 25 days ago and Farikh said they aim to return around mid-September.

“We’re not in any hurry,” he said, adding that they have many friends in Abbotsford, including their hosts, the staff at Chinook Helicopter Ltd.

Farikh and Rakitsky have previously flown the Robinson R66 to the North Pole, which was a first for the crew and the helicopter.

Their route has taken them westbound around Europe to Iceland, Greenland and now Canada. They will fly up along Alaska and through the Far East of Russia.

Their flight can be tracked at http://vokrugsveta2013.ru/.