Brian Milton – Keynote Speaker

Journalist, adventurer and the first man to pilot a microlight around the world

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Brian Milton Profile Picture

Specialist Subjects

  • Motivation
  • Overcoming obstacles


  • English


Brian Milton, adventurer and journalist is a charismatic and inspirational speaker, has had a number of unusual adventures.


He was the first man to fly a microlight aircraft around the world, he was the winner of the 1998 Segrave Trophy – given to the British subject accomplishing the most outstanding demonstration of the possibilities of powered transport by land, sea or water. Previous winners include Amy Johnson, Donald Campbell, Stirling Moss, Jackie Stewart and Lewis Hamilton. Brian also won the Britannia Trophy, highest award in the gift of the Royal Aero Club.


In 1968 he drove a 1937 Austin-7 Ruby across the Sahara and the Congo. He twice ran out of water in the Sahara. For the last 2,000 miles he drove with only three pistons working, and for 900 miles he had no brakes, lights, shock absorbers, starting motor or handle. For five weeks he had no money at all. How did he find the values, energy and commitment to continue?


When, ten years later, he fell 250 feet into a ploughed field testing a prototype powered hang-glider in front of BBC cameras – illustrated on video – how did he survive? How did he find the nerve to take up powered microlight flying again?


On a microlight flight to Australia in 1987 he was wrecked on a Greek island by strong winds. How did he get the aircraft to fly again in six days? When he fell into the Persian Gulf on Christmas Day in the middle of the Iran/Iraq War, how, after six hours in the sea, did he rescue his aircraft? How did he get it to fly again in five days, and where did he find the courage and inspiration to fly on? Still on that flight, how did he overcome the claustrophobic terrors that drove yachtsman Donald Crowhurst to jump into the sea, and resist bailing out over India at 5,000 feet with no parachute? During three days of madness, how did he continue flying?



On the first flight around the world in 1998, why did a Syrian Mig 21 not shoot him down? Why did he continue to wave like a tourist until he reached Jordan? How did he cope with seven engine failures crossing a thousand miles of Saudi desert, and the 800 miles of pre-monsoon storms over the mountains of Burma, Laos and Vietnam? In Siberia, his sponsor abandoned him; his partner wanted $180,000 to continue, the Russians told him to return to Japan, how did Milton continue? Why? Now alone, making the first west-east crossing of the Atlantic by microlight, in a storm 200 miles out from Iceland, how did he cope with 50 mph winds and a GPS showing him 18 hours from Reykyavik, knowing he had only 8 hours fuel left? BBC TV covered this adventure in a Hardtalk programme with Tim Sebastian, and Kay Burley on Sky-TV made a special half-hour programme on the flight.


Trying to repeat Alcock and Brown’s first Atlantic flight by microlight in 2001, where did Milton find the moral certainty to continue after the Canadian authorities, horrified at his 438 litre tanks, took away his Permit to Fly? Why does Brian still think he was right to go on, even though he failed catastrophically on the last take-off before a 2000-mile flight to Ireland?


Brian gives answers to these questions and positive reasons for perseverance in his talks, captivating audiences with his outrageous stories and motivating people to never give up, no matter how hopeless a situation may seem.


Brian won the oldest trophy in the RAeCm, the 1909 Norton-Griffiths in 2009 after saying yes to a late Sunday evening phone call from blind adventurer Miles Hilton-Barber who asked, ‘can you be my sighted pilot on a microlight flight to Australia, starting at 9 o’clock tomorrow morning?’


For those looking for unusual solutions to unusual problems, Brian is an ideal speaker.

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