March 26, 2013
By Dave Hirschman
Bill Harrelson, a distance-record-setting pilot, is back in the United States after a marathon 27-hour, nonstop flight from the southern tip of South America to Key West, Fla.
Harrelson, 68, had flown his modified Lancair IV to Punta Arenas, Chile, in a bid to fly around the world over both the north and south poles, but adverse weather at the bottom of the world forced him to abandon the effort.
“The likelihood of finding a window that is free of ice and has acceptable winds is decreasing very, very rapidly,” he said at the time. “It’s just too late in what has been an unusually bad season.”
Harrelson flew the vast majority of the trip home over the Pacific, and then crossed over Central America to the Caribbean and navigated around Cuba before landing in Key West 27 hours and 5 minutes after leaving Chile. Ground speeds at cruise ranged from 179 knots to more than 230 knots.
Harrelson’s Lancair IV can carry 361 gallons of avgas, and it’s powered by a normally aspirated Continental IO-550 engine. He lives in Fredericksburg, Va., where it was snowing and cold on March 25—a good reason to rest up in Key West.
Around the world Flight,
A general aviation advocate hopes that a new tour will help give the industry a shot in the arm and attract more to become pilots.
Club President Thomas Kinder explains how the club has evolved over the years, as well as some of its interesting organizational structure.
A Gulfstream business jet outfitted for science is probing Atlantic clouds between Germany and Barbados.
AOPA thanks our members for their continued support in protecting the freedom to fly.