Russian helicopter pilots stop in Airlie
FOUR Russian helicopter pilots called into Airlie Beach as part of a tour around the world.
The pilots are flying Robinson helicopters and arrived at the Whitsunday Airport in Flametree on Monday to visit Australian Robinson dealers, Helibiz.
The men are on a trip called 'There and Back Again' and are following a route from Moscow to New Zealand and back to Moscow.
Helibiz sales and marketing manager Troy Holloway said it was great to have the international pilots make a special trip to see the Australian dealers.
"They originally came to see us but have fallen in love with the area and decided to stay longer," he said.
On the venture is experienced pilots Yevgeniy Kabanov, Igor Rudoy, Alexandr Kurylev and Alexey Murashov.
They have already travelled from Moscow and visited Japan, Philippines, Indonesia, Horn Island, Cape York, Townsville and the Whitsundays.
Head of the exhibition Yevgeniy Kabanov said this was their first time visiting Australia.
The pilots are hoping to take a trip out to The Great Barrier Reef before making their way to their final destination, New Zealand.
They embarked on their journey on September 16 and are expected to be away for two months.
Mr Kabanov said the trip had mostly been smooth sailing beside a slight hiccup in Japan where they had trouble with entry and clearance permission.
The trip is expected to will be 60000km visiting 20 countries and 78 airports around the world. they will coss two oceans and stay in the air for more than 300 hours.
If you are interested in keeping up to date with their travels visit http://www.thereandbackagain.ru.