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December 3, 2012
By Jill W. Tallman
More than 100 Globe/Temco Swifts—including one piloted by a veteran of the Royal Canadian Air Force—filled the skies of the United States, Brazil, Canada, and France during an international fly-out on Nov. 4. The event was called “World Domination: The Day of the Swift.”
Fort Myers, Fla., Swift owner Perry Sisson thought it would be fun to see how many pilots of the low-wing, retractable-gear airplanes would be interested in flying on a single day. He said he got the idea one morning while looking at a photo of a Swift on Facebook, and “wondered whether I was flying my Swift at that same moment in time.”
Sisson used Facebook as well as phone calls and emails to invite the entire Swift community to fly on Nov. 4, and to send him data and photos on where and how long they had flown. The final tally: 101 Swifts took flight, and 32 Swifts were in the air at the same time around the world. The airplanes flew an estimated 136.2 hours.
Sisson said Joseph Armand Gerard Fernand “Fern” Villeneuve also flew on that day. Villeneuve, born July 2, 1927, is a retired lieutenant colonel in the Royal Canadian Air Force, and, according to Sisson, is widely considered in Canada to be one of the nation’s finest RCAF pilots.
AOPA Technical Editor Jill W. Tallman is an instrument-rated private pilot who owns a Piper Cherokee 140.
Around the World Flight,
Two veteran balloonists were aloft above the Pacific Ocean in a bid to break the world’s distance record for a gas balloon flight.
Lake Havasu City, Arizona, was treated to a colorful display as the local balloon festival marked its fifth year.
It has an engine from the Golden Age of Aviation, an open cockpit, and a long-range cruise speed of about 90 mph. For the Seattle II, a Douglas World Cruiser reproduction, a brief first flight in December started a new chapter in a Seattle couple’s quest to fly it around the world in 2016.
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