Manuel with his daughter Natalie, granddaughter Eva and wife Jill
Manuel Jardim de Queiroz was born in Lisbon, Portugal in 1946, but has lived in England for over 30 years and has certainly done all his flying from here! His home is situated in the Worcestershire countryside and he flies from Gloucestershire Airport. He is a motor engineer by profession and ran his own successful business restoring and servicing classic, luxury and sports cars based in the West Midlands. What he doesn't know about engines (whether in cars or aeroplanes) isn't worth knowing! And his competitive streak has always been with him - for many years, before the flying, he was a rally driver, successfully competing in stage rallies all over the UK.
A private pilot with almost 900 flying hours under his belt (before he set off round the world), Manuel began his aviation career in microlights. After a trial flight in a Flash 2 Alpha from Shobdon Airfield back in March 1990, he was hooked! He gained his PPL (Private Pilot's Licence) in May 1991 at Long Marston and within months was organising his first flying adventure - leading an intrepid band of microlighters across the Channel to France - no mean achievement, given that most were relatively 'new' pilots, most had never been abroad before and none had flown across the water. That the trip was a fantastic success goes without saying and proof of Manuel's refusal to be daunted by apparently insurmountable problems!
The competitive bug soon took hold again, and Manuel took part in two Round Britain rallies - an annual four-day microlighting event which, as the name suggests, takes pilots to all corners of the British Isles.
But soon the desire to move onto bigger and better things took hold and Manuel was converting his piloting skills to a bi-plane. In the Renegade Spirit he was soon off to France again, then the Hebrides and all points between, before even this was not enough and the licence was being upgraded once again to take in light aircraft. The conversion was easy and many further hours of flying ensued. Prior to his round the world flight, he gained further qualifications for night and instrument (IMC) flying - all skills that widen the horizons and increase the expertise of the private pilot.