2,486,37 OLC points! This is the highest amount of OLC points ever scored by a pilot. Wow! Congratulations to Jim Payne and his copilot Juan Pagano to this big achievement. At 8.30 pm European time Jackie Payne sent a quick note from Nahuel Huapi (Argentina) around the world stating: “1750 km at 180kph average with 5 hours of daylight left. That's 1087 miles at 111 mph. First 40 minutes they were happy with 4 knots lift!”
While the DG 1001M´s crew was still flying the "Onda Grande" along the world´s longest mountain range Europe fell asleep, but this morning we were the first to see the big news. Obviously Jim has been able to keep the high speed, averaging at 184.9 km/h and so covered 2,700.57 kilometers.
Looking back, in November 2009 the German pilot Klaus Ohlmann had documented 130 kilometers more. With a Nimbus 4DM he was able to ride 2831.15 km along the Andes. Launching from Chapelco San Martin (north of the Argentinean field where Jim took off) he had been able to fly at an average speed of 186,17km/h and was one of the world´s first pilots to crack the magic 2000 km. He also won the prestigeous Küttner trophy for soaring one way over 2000 km. Dr. Jo Küttner himself, the legendary wave research pilot who had opened the way into wave for the next generation of glider pilots, had handed over the trophy.
While Klaus is currently exploring the Himalayas, following Dr. Küttner´s steps into the world´s deepest gorge, measuring winds and gathering atmospheric data, US pilot Jim Payne explores the Andes and collects information for the Perlan mission. His turn to aim for higher records: With the DG 1001M having an index of 110, better than the Nimbus 4DM (index 126) he could now top Klaus' 2009 achievement. We are curious to find Jim's OLC comment and hope to receive some pictures and more details about his longest flight ever soon. Happy New Year!
Meanwhile, she has traveled a bit, flown a lot, and lived in the US.She is happy to now know glider pilots from the US too and says, “they are as amiable as everywhere on the world.” She feels fortunate to have found a temporary soaring home in Boulder, surely one of the best and most scenic places to fly on Earth!
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