Cessna pilot on classic flight

Antony Sproull may still describe himself as ''new to flying'' but last night he returned from a 10-day journey co-piloting a near-new $2 million Cessna Caravan from Athens, Greece, to Queenstown.

The 29-year-old ferried the aircraft 20,000km to the resort on behalf of his father, Air Milford owner Hank Sproull, to add to the company fleet.

''I don't think it's going to sink in until I've got a lot of sleep,'' Antony said after landing.

He and Australian pilots Jim Hazelton and Richard Purdy flew a path from Athens, Rhodes, Luxor, Muscat, Sri Lanka, Cocos Islands, Broome, Alice Springs, Kempsey and Port Macquarie. He was then joined by his father Hank for the last leg of the journey to Queenstown.

Antony, who has been flying for two years, clocked up 68.5 flying hours but said the experience was worth 1000.

There was very little time off on the ground, which, if not sleeping in airport motels, was mostly spent refuelling and going through airport protocols.

A day off in the Cocos Islands was a highlight, ''but we almost paid the price for it because the weather turned [the next day]''.

When thinking about what could top such an achievement, he decided it would be to get his commercial flying licence and fly passengers with his father.

- christina.mcdonald@odt.co.nz