MAURICE KIRK AFRICAN ORDEAL: “I WON’T give up, says Captain Calamity: Eccentric aviator, 72, vows to continue perilous journey across Africa despite crash-landing in a warzone, getting robbed and being stricken by malaria” 11 DEC. 16

  • Maurice Kirk crash landed in South Sudan, where he was robbed by locals
  • Police then arrived on the scene and seized him for not having a visa 
  • In the jail, in the town of Kapoeta, he fell badly ill with sepsis and malaria 
  • He is now holed up in a Western hotel in the city – and has vowed to continue his perilous journey 

He has crash-landed in one of the most dangerous places on Earth, been robbed and beaten up by bandits and jailed by the local regime, and is now dangerously ill after contracting malaria.

But intrepid 72-year-old aviator Maurice Kirk has vowed to recover his battered vintage aircraft, fix her up and continue his perilous journey across Africa.

His crash in South Sudan last week was the second time Mr Kirk and his single-engine 1943 Piper Club have come unstuck on the 8,000-mile Vintage Air Rally from Crete to South Africa. He previously went missing, only to touch down in Ethiopia, where the authorities accused him of illegally entering the country’s airspace.

Mr Kirk, who has already found himself in many a perilous situation – not least as a close drinking buddy of Oliver Reed – admits that his current circumstances are ‘a bit of a jam’.

Speaking exclusively to The Mail on Sunday from his sick bed in South Sudan, he said: ‘I’m staying here, and I’m going to rescue her.’ He’s affectionately referring to his Piper Cub, which lost its propeller and one of its legs when it crashed near the town of Narus. 

After emerging from the wreckage, Mr Kirk was dragged away by bandits. ‘I was roughed up by the locals, who dragged me through brambles that have terrible thorns,’ he said. ‘I have deep cuts all over my legs. They stole my mobile phone, my camera and my emergency beacon.’

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