A DAREDEVIL microlight pilot on a solo charity flight to Australia has been killed on the first leg of the epic journey. Martin Bromage, 49, took off yesterday morning from Gloucestershire Airport at Staverton for the 11,000-mile trip. The father-of-two was reported missing in the afternoon after thick fog descended over the English Channel. Last night, Mr Bromages body was recovered from the sea 20 miles off the coast of France. It has now been taken to Boulogne. A statement is expected from his wife Christine and his two sons - Benjamin, 25, and George, nine - later today. Mr Bromage, a tree surgeon who was hoping to raise 150,000 from the flight for soldiers charity Help For Heroes, gave his last interview before taking off at 10am yesterday. He said: 'I have done a few adventurous trips in Europe in the microlight and I just thought to myself, why not push it that bit further? 'There is a real sense of freedom - you can feel the wind and smell the atmosphere. You cant do that in a plane. He added: 'The challenges will be many and varied including some enormous open water crossings over shark-infested seas, extreme weather conditions and overflying some of the most hostile terrain in the world. 'There will also be significant logistical, bureaucratic and political obstacles to overcome. Ive always had an appetite for adventure and I relish a challenge. Mr Bromage was due to arrive in Le Touquet by 3pm yesterday. DM But the last time a reading was received from his satellite tracker was at about 1pm - three-quarters of the way across the Channel. Staff at the Gloucestershire Airport raised the alarm and patrol vessels sent by RAF Kinloss, which deals with aircraft emergencies in the UK, found his body. Dover Coastguard revealed Mr Bromage made a series of frantic calls to a French airfield seconds before he lost radio contact and crashed. Barry Woodward said: 'The fog came in midway across the channel during Mr Bromages flight and we had reports from our colleagues just to the west of Calais that they were receiving requests from a light aircraft that was diverting continuously because he couldnt find an airfield that was clear. 'Then they lost contact with him. Unfortunately for the same reason that he was in difficulty, the thickness of the fog, we could not fly from either side of the channel to look for him. It is very tragic that he should be killed during the very first stage of such a commendable charity flight and our thoughts are with his family and supporters. 'His aircraft was very well equipped for all emergencies and carried a life-raft and life-jacket but sadly none of it seems to have helped him. Mr Bromage was trying to turn back to the UK after weather conditions prevented him landing in France, the Coastguard revealed. A spokesman said: 'He couldnt land in France and was trying to come back to the UK. The information came in Mr Bromages last transmission at 13.10pm yesterday. Mr Bromage, a successful businessman, had spent months working out a detailed route for the flight, averaging 500 miles a day in the flimsy microlight. The route across Europe, the Middle East, India, Thailand, Indonesia and finally Australia had been carefully planned to avoid long flights over sea. Mr Bromage was hoping to complete the 11,000-mile trip within eight weeks, stopping in 18 countries on the way. He had received invites from across the world, thanks to his blog on www.flytoaus.com. -Daily Mail