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Longest Flight on a Home Built Airplane

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Pilot Bill Harrelson just landed after a 22:15 hour flight covering 4,340nm distance from Peru, IN to Honolulu, HI. This has to be a record..! (flightaware.com) More...

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andrewscholl
Andrew Scholl 11
That's odd...I guess if I had the range to do that I still would have stopped in California to fill up and let my body and mind catch up. I'd love to know more about this flight though.
kensmoll
Kenneth Smoll 1
I agree...
onceastudentpilot
tim mitchell 9
I wonder if he was alone....that's along time to stay awake over water with nothing really to do.
smoki
smoki 2
Gives you some appreciation for what Charles Lindbergh did in a comparatively crude flying machine, Spirit of St. Louis, when he soloed across the Atlantic on his way to Paris from Long Island N.Y. on May 20, 1927. Though his distance was less than this flight, 3500 miles compared to 4300 miles, his was longer in time, 33 hours compared to 22 hours. Lindbergh was lying in a prone position the entire time relying on a periscope device to sight forward while surrounded by hundreds of gallons of gasoline carried in spare tanks crammed into the fuselage taking up most of the available space

He had hardly slept the night before, the field was muddy making the takeooff hazardous and the takeoff roll longer the following morning at 8am whence he barely cleared some telephone wires at the field boundary. He at times was no more than a mere 10 feet above the Atlantic waves trying to get under the fog. He had no one to talk to and had carried 4 sandwiches as inflight catering. He relied entirely on dead reckoning navigation with a simple compass to guide him but came amazingly close to his planned landfall position on the Irish coast. At one point he started to ice up but managed to get low enough into warmer air to eliminate the hazard.

The most dangerous part of his flight may have been the landing at Paris when people broke through the police barracade and cam running at him with the engine still running and the prop turning. He was afraid he was going to kill somebody so he shut down the engine immediately after coming to a stop. He was a shy young man who was shuffled from pillar to post after his heroic achievement who didn't care much for all the attention he received which ultimately changed his life forever and not all of it for the best. His fame resulted in the painful kidnapping death of his first son.
mpradel
Marcus Pradel 7
The next leg is to Guam, then Non-Stop back to Orlando!

1/2 way around the world & back without having to use your Passport..

As I understand, he's doing it Solo.
wktaylor
Wilfred Taylor 5
I hope he flew this with NAA and/or the FAI sanction: then it can be actually be recorded as a record flight... otherwise, it's just an interesting personal achievement.

NOTE. I think a Long-Eze [or another similar Rutan acft] may have flown a longer non-stop leg (AK to FL ?).

NOTE. Flying over-water as the last leg of a 4340NM looooong flight is way gutsy: he obviously had confidence in his performance!

Regards, Wil Taylor
HunterTS4
Toby Sharp 1
HE probably built that engine ha!
pthomas745
Pa Thomas 4
Did the Voyager count as a homebuilt?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rutan_Voyager
HunterTS4
Toby Sharp 1
experimental
loganms
Michael Logan 3
Bill left Guam just a little before midnight EST last night on his way to Florida. He had some headwinds at the beginning. He is doing this to set a distance record. His Lancair IV is chock full of fuel tanks with not much room for anything else. His current position is 034°05′41.6′′N, 163°41′53.3′′W (about 900 miles north of Hawaii), he is at 15,447 ft and doing 187kts.
chem220
Wilfred Ferguson 3
Had to have 400 gal of fuel on board. Probably needed the long runway to get airborne. Shows what can be done with a large ferry tank.
Woodson
Woodson Sellers 3
Sierra hotel! Great job, Bill!
707t
707t 3
love to hear the whole story
yr2012
matt jensen 2
12,501' main runway at Grissom.
loganms
Michael Logan 2
He built the plane to fly around the world, planning to do it over the poles.
johncook1
john cook 1
Who you calling a pole?
mhlansdell00
Mark Lansdell 1
Is his flight being tracked on FA?
kdog1839
david kuhn 1
You mean North of GUAM according to the cooordinates given!
loganms
Michael Logan 1
volvodadfast
Ichiro Sugioka 5
I guess he really got tired of the cold weather.
onceastudentpilot
tim mitchell 3
he took flying the coop to a whole new level...lol
RobSJC
Clement Roberts 2
Impressive, possibly on record as #1 in actual distance, but not time .. Lindgergh's trip was 3,610 miles in 33 1/2 hours.
jhakunti
Jayden Hakunti 2
Lancair IV i want one of these

Av8nut
Michael Fuquay 2
12 hours looking at water - hope he brought a good book with him.
davidplatt
David Platt 2
Modern day adventure , love it
janthony24
Justin Anthony 2
Congrats!
HunterTS4
Toby Sharp 3
with the walter engine and 5 blade prop of course!
HunterTS4
Toby Sharp 1
still amazing to stop and think about isn't it?!
HunterTS4
Toby Sharp 2
Shoulda named that Diaper flight!
onceastudentpilot
tim mitchell 1
that would of been a bad time to have a sour stomach...lol
HunterTS4
Toby Sharp 0
that's grounds for an in flight emergency
onceastudentpilot
tim mitchell 2
nah just wear depends and throw them out the window when done...lol
hiflier32
ric lang 1
Don't nail me with this statement if i have it wrong, but I believe Peter Garrison in a homebuilt flying gas tank called Melmoth which he not only built but designed himself, flew the thing from CA to Japan nonstop....Here's a guy I admire, more so because he did it with his wife on board.....I can only imagine the rhetoric going on during that flight!
bashdan
Bash Dan 1
Bravo Zulu capt'n!!
Does anyone know the approx amount of fuel he is carrying with all the tanks? I'm trying to read the rest of the story, but it keep taking me to the flight track page
ericvap
ericvap 1
Yes great circle 7052 BUT Filed 8113 @ 180kts I belive this is the record run! SEL & IO550 doing what a G650 cant!
kdog1839
david kuhn 1
According to the positin given he would be N. of GUAM; NOT Hawaii!
66lima
Richard Dugger 1
Really, why wouldn't you land in CA and hit the head, get some sleep and a decent meal.
It would only make sense.
mhlansdell00
Mark Lansdell 1
That wasn't an easy day to fly. AAL flight ABQ / DFW strapped in the cabin crew to get through en route weather. 'Not a good week to quit smoking.'
kensmoll
Kenneth Smoll 1
I would have done that flight the other direction if I were him and were going for a record. Pretty small target the way he did it. Lots of options if something goes wrong if you set the record the other way.
SammySirhan
Sammy Sirhan 1
I am tipping my hat capt'N
andreaspeleties
andreas peleties 1
what type of aeroplane was that and how much fuel was carrying. Was it equipted with autopilot? Was flying with a single pilot?
mhlansdell00
Mark Lansdell 1
I guess the sequester is affecting all the transponders. Flight tracking seems to be about 3 hours behind. My plotter shows him over Oklahoma within Albuquerque Cntr.
DesertDave
DesertDave 1
Congratulations to Bill, whether it is a record, or not.
MarkusAnderson
Markus Anderson 1
What a great flight in a Lancair 4 - Great Job! Hopefully the winds will be kinder to you on the way back!
tsagres
Arthur Costa 1
muito bom esse aplicativo!
rich644
j walter 1
Dumb non-pilot question: On a flight that long, is it possible to set the autopilot to read a book? (or other things that take your eyes off the instruments) Or do you really need to be focused for 22 hours?
Av8nut
Michael Fuquay 1
I wonder what the winds were heading west.
MikeMohle
Mike Mohle 1
He went almost 1000 mi. longer than the great circle too! Shortest route would have been over N California. I wonder how he decided on this route, or whether he wanted to get the mileage up for some record. Now he has to get back, unless of course he is continuing around the world westbound.
loganms
Michael Logan 2
Lancair IV with about 400 gallons. It has an autopilot and with 400 gallons, there is not room for any other people
mhlansdell00
Mark Lansdell 2
What are the "rules" for the record, if that's what he's after. He may not have been able to stop and still challenge the record he was after. As for flying the route in the other direction, airplane drivers have been making that trip for many years, before nav. aids and loran and long before GPS and SatNav. It wasn't that long ago that the hottest lick was on board radio direction equipment combined with dead reckoning and celestial sightings. There's certainly no shortage of time to do the arithmetic.
Woodson
Woodson Sellers 1
You COULD but the most I'd even consider doing on single pilot would be to Bluetooth my iPod. only takes half a second for things to go pear shaped.
klimchuk
Nikolay Klimchuk 1
Good advertising for the airplane
59695969
Dudley Johnston 1
Something amiss here. Great circle tracker lists the distance GUS-SFO-HNL as 4342 sm. GUS-SAN-HNL as 4411. Great flight either way but I wonder about the 5320 sm figure.
loganms
Michael Logan 1
I think it is right around 400 gallons.
TorstenHoff
Torsten Hoff 1
Windws aloft?
rich644
j walter 4
So, I guess taking a nap is out of the question :). Wow, thats a long time to stay mentally focused. I can't imagine being alert for 22 hours. After 13 hours of driving my RV, I start to hallucinate.
onceastudentpilot
tim mitchell 3
in all actuality it is almost impossible to stay focused that long....probably about 300 miles past Cali. he was thinking what am I doing.
onceastudentpilot
tim mitchell 2
maybe greattrack is going off of Nautical miles
preacher1
preacher1 2
Well, something is squirrely just at a glancing look. When you call up the story and get the FA track there, it says 4340sm direct and 5320sm as flown. Well that track looked pretty straight and just about as direct as one could go and I can't see 980 miles there.I got mixed up on on last week comparing NM and SM, but these both say SM. Now I guess running it thru a full plan and track might bring it down exact but I still don't see 980 miles there. Anybody care to enlighten?
onceastudentpilot
tim mitchell 2
maybe he would fly 5 miles and the wind would blow him back .5.....lol
canyoncountry
canyoncountry 0
I don't understand why he didn't fly the great circle route?? Maybe weather??
flyingcookmosnter
flyingcookmosnter 2
Weather and winds aloft were unfavorable to fly great circle.
asc12
Andy Cornwell 0
This aircraft is currently en route from Guam to Jacksonville. 7052nm listed as the great circle distance. Holy moly. http://flightaware.com/live/flight/N6ZQ/history/20130301/0400Z/PGUM/KJAX
rgbooth
Bob Booth 0
What an amazing feat! Can't believe the local newscasts didn't pick up on this. Welcome to Jacksonville, Bill!
klimchuk
Nikolay Klimchuk 1
Unbelievable
mpradel
Marcus Pradel 2
he has now landed. Amazing job Bill!