U.S. Distance Record Attempt Planned for Sunday, May 4th

On Sunday, May 4, I will be making another distance record attempt along with Hugh Bennett in the Duo Discus sailplane. Our intention is to be towed up by a towplane shortly before sunrise around 0530 PDT from the Minden Tahoe airport NV (KMEV), release and head in the direction of Rapid City, SD (KRAP), landing near sunset after flying over 850 miles. If we can go beyond that, we obviously will. As most know, we will be making this attempt in an unmotorized sailplane utilizing mountain wave updrafts to stay aloft.

The weather is favorable for this intended direction but weaker forecast winds might make slow going. If the flight is aborted due to technicalities or unfavorable weather, Walt Rogers will post on his twitter account (below).  We intend to climb up to 28,000 feet before proceeding east. As most know, there’s no way to tell how far we end up going. It will depend on what the weather allows. It will be cold as the cockpit is unheated and unpressurized. There are too many factors involved to tell how far we end up, which also makes it quite fun to watch from the sidelines on the ground. Our call sign for the flight will be N55LK.

I will also be posting live pictures and video feed (workload permitting) and be in satellite communication with Walt Rogers, our meteorologist and dispatcher. You can follow his excellent twitter feeds with weather updates and our progress and inflight pictures by going to:

You can join us during the flight by following our track which gives position, altitude, speed, and heading. Updates occur every 5 minutes. Click on the blue dots to see our position, speed, altitude, and heading. Click on the following link to access the site on Saturday, 3/29 (be advised that you will have to select “map filters” on the map page and then on the “date and time range” choose “currently tracking” in order to see only our position points for THIS flight).

Also, we can be tracked on:

www.flightaware.com  (might not be accurate)

One can also follow our live communications with Air Traffic Control by going to:

http://www.liveatc.net (I believe our first frequency will be Norcal Approach on 119.2 and then for OAK center 128.8)
My goal is to share this wonderful adventure and beauty of unpowered flight with the rest of the world. Without being in the cockpit, this is the best way we know how to share it. Feel free to share this with your friends.

Enjoy the ride,
Gordon Boettger