Corinth, TX - Michael Combs who became the first Sport Pilot to fly a Light Sport Aircraft into all fifty states announced today the route for his next World Record Flight. The Transcontinental Flight will take off from Ontario, California and touch down on the East Coast in Charleston, South Carolina. Covering a total planned distance of 1,931.5 miles it will include seven fuel stops including Chandler, AZ; El Paso, TX; Midland, TX; Denton, TX; Greenville, MS; LaGrange, GA, and Charleston, SC.
"Each of our fuel stops are already prepared for a quick turnaround" said Combs. "Last year our fastest on-ground time was only eleven minutes which is unprecedented for fueling and weather briefing. We'll have more participation this year which will keep us in the sky as long as possible."
Combs and his flight assistant Daniel Routh attempted the feat last summer, but ended up landing in Florence, SC due to thunderstorms that had blocked their path just 91 miles short of their Wilmington, NC goal. "The airport in Florence had lost power and had no runway lights, but it was an adventurous flight that I won't be repeating this year. Our fans were treated to Tweets and Facebook posts that kept everyone riveted up to the final touchdown. Ultimately, the weather became the largest factor and we ended up abandoning the World Record until the return of the long summer daylight days of this year." The flight is scheduled to begin Wednesday, June 19thbut is subject to delay while awaiting favorable weather conditions from Coast to Coast.
This flight is unique in that Combs will be attempting to set the World Record by Sport Pilot rules. This prohibits the flight from extending into nighttime hours and limits the speed to no more than 137 mph. Once the team takes off from Ontario International, the clock will run continuously until touchdown in Charleston the next day. All fuel stops and the mandatory night stop will continue to run the clock against the final time. "This is our ultimate challenge," explained Combs. "We not only have weather to monitor, but any deviation from our planned route due to forest fires, winds, or aircraft maintenance could cause us to lose the record. We have a maximum amount of time to complete the flight and currently have a three hour and fifty minute window of cushion before it would slip from our hands. That sounds like a lot until you realize that we are combining that amount of time over a great distance and 34 hours."
The team will be flying in a REMOS GX Light Sport Aircraft named, "Hope One." It is the same aircraft that Combs has flown for The Flight for the Human Spirit and currently holds five other World Records. During the first leg of this flight, Hope One will have officially logged over 50,000 miles behind her tail. "The REMOS has been fantastic in every way. Hope One is holding up well in spite of flying over twice the distance around the globe. In all of those miles we only have had a flat front tire and a GPS that needed to be replaced. There is no other aircraft that I would rather be sitting in for such a demanding journey as this one."
To follow The Flight for the Human Spirit, go to: www.FlightHS.com for live satellite tracking as well as Facebook and Twitter updates from the cockpit and Mission Control.
Photo Caption - Michael Combs and his REMOS aircraft named "Hope One" with the Blue Angels "Fat Albert" in the background after successfully completing the Fifty State adventure in Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii.