He said: “I’ll be flying one of General Patten’s D-Day Piper Cubs, which were used to ferry messages between tank regiments”

“It’s designed to land in small fields and ploughed ones.”

Maurice Kirk has being flying his machine in the Taunton area recently, camping in a field near Hestercombe and also at the Seven Sisters, on the Quantock Hills.

Organisers of the Crete to Cape Town rally promise “trials and tribulations, mechanical and human stress”, all of which suits Maurice fine.

In his younger days, he paddled across the English Channel in a home-made canoe, hitch-hiked around North America, Australia and New Zealand and even parachuted into his first wedding at Stoke St Mary Church.

In 2008 Maurice Kirk was arrested after landing his plane near George Bush’s Texas ranch – he had been trying to reach the president to thank him for help given by US coastguards after he crash landed in the Caribbean sea.

Participants will be staying in accommodation ranging from five star hotels to tented camps and the only obligatory equipment is a sleeping bag, full black tie and beginner’s guide to Swahili.