Capt. Hamish Harding
Mission Director & Pilot
The idea for this adventure was born about five years before the mission, when Hamish Harding met a few of the Apollo astronauts and they came up with the crazy idea of flying these heroes on “one more orbit,” a global circumnavigation flight.
Hamish is an experienced jet pilot and aircraft broker, as chairman of his company Action Aviation. He was quite familiar with the capabilities of various aircraft types and had set several aviation speed records a few years prior to OMO.
He realized that the polar circumnavigation record was one that could potentially be taken, and that the G650ER was the perfect aircraft to do it because of its combination of long range and high speed. The idea for One More Orbit was born, combining a world-record attempt with promoting space exploration. After Qatar Executive joined the team bringing both their aircraft and logistical support, Hamish’s dream began to take shape.
When he’s not flying jets, he lives with his family and two golden retrievers in the United Arab Emirates, a central location for his global aircraft business. Hamish’s wife Linda and step-daughter Lauren were at our launch and landing at the Kennedy Space Center, as was his youngest son Giles. Unfortunately, his oldest son Rory was not able to make it because of school exams in the UK. He was able to join the celebration of the world record at the Living Legends of Aviation gala in Austria.
Hamish’s many accomplishments include several aviation world records as well as travelling to the South Pole twice (first with Buzz Aldrin, and later with his son Giles, respectively the oldest and youngest persons ever to reach the South Pole). He has a seat reserved with Virgin Galactic for a sub-orbital space flight, and also a dive with Eyos Expeditions to the Challenger Deep, the deepest place on Earth at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean.