Pilot aged 71 flying 1943 plane over Africa found after missing second time

Updated: 

A 71-year-old British pilot attempting to fly a 1940s plane the length of Africa has been found after going missing for the second time. 

Maurice Kirk, who was part of a vintage rally flying from Crete to Cape Town, was reported missing for the second time in two flights on Friday after taking off from Ethiopia. 

He failed to reach Kenya due to an engine failure but managed to land his 1943 Piper Cub plane safely in South Sudan, organisers Vintage Air Rally said. 

A post on their Facebook page said: "Maurice is safe! We heard he had an engine failure and landed (not at an airfield) in South Sudan but had a puncture on landing.

"He's fine, we think the plane also. Locals found him and called a Brit in Juba they recently worked for. He contacted the British embassy in Juba." 

The pensioner was reported as a "no show" on the Vintage Air Rally Facebook page on Friday.

The post added: "Whilst many of his piloting skills are very poor (rules and regulations to start), his ability to drop his cub into a small field for the night is impressive."

Mr Kirk, from Bristol, is no longer officially part of the rally and has continued to fly despite being asked to withdraw due to a "mismatch in expectations".

Organisers have said they will continue to help him until he reaches Kenya. 

Pensioner Mr Kirk first went missing on a three-hour leg of the cross-African flight from southern Sudan into western Ethiopia earlier this week. 

He was later found and reunited with rest of the competitors at the airport in Gambela, Ethiopia

The pensioner, who has been dubbed The Flying Vet, is a controversial character.

He is a former drinking partner of hell-raising actor Oliver Reed and in 2002 the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons kicked him out of the profession.

He has also been involved in a string of legal cases against various police forces.