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Diabetes Flight 48
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Post-Flight Blog

4.45 pm Central Time, 22 June,
10.45 pm GMT, 22 June (London time)

Two days after landing and sorting out completion admin, it's time to reflect briefly on the flight. Unreported was a small hitch with the right engine RPM gauge (needle) that threatened to ground us from Virginia onwards. On each of the five post-refueling start-ups from Virginia onwards, the engine RPM neede was dead, but with some judicious revving up to full power and then altering power settings during pre-take off engine run-ups, we managed to coax it back into life each time. We did not want to write about this for fear of jinxing the final flights up the east coast to Maine and westwards on the final run home.

Then the 46th state take-off had to be abandoned as four rather large cranes (waterfowl) were on the runway. It took some more engine revving, this time to coax them clear - hitting one of those on take off could have ruined our day, not to mention the record attempt.

One of the most enjoyable aspects of the whole flight was how well all five crew on board gelled together. Daniel, the official record keeper, was a pleasure to have on board, a font of American knowledge and FAA communication procedures as we made our way around, and Dave the camerman's banter, often aimed at the pilots up front (!), kept us well amused. Karl's technical input including the Spidertracks GPS tracker was invaluable. Not to mention the pleasure of sharing the flying experience with James who had had five years off flying after being diagnosed with diabetes in 2004 and had only just regained his medical and revalidated his licence the week before starting this record attempt - a seriously gallant effort.

The final task that remains is to submit Daniel's record-keeping paperwork to the National Aeronautics Association and (all being well) receive official confirmation of the record being broken. Once again, a HUGE thank you to everybody behind this project and for donations and support for all the fund-raising. A number of people have asked "What's next?" Another project is in the offing for next summer - more about this later.......


In-Flight Blog

12.30 pm Central Time, 20th June
6.30 pm GMT, 20th June (London time)

The weather cleared up after storms blew through Cleveland last night (apparently there was one tornado touchdown 60 miles to the south of the city) and we have just landed at Kenosha, the 48th state. It's VERY GOOD to have completed this successfully. A HUGE "thank you" to all who have supported this project, including the on-board crew, James, Karl, Dave and our official record keeper, Daniel. It's been quite the adventure with some great formation flying with Butch Weaver over Colorado, and plenty of weather challenges to deal with en-route. Also much more night flying than predicted, one including ground fog close to some airfields.

James had the most interesting landing at Eastern Slopes, Maine, with low clouds requiring a tight turn onto the runway with spectacular scenery behind. Overall, a fantastic flight all round!


7.25 am Eastern Time, 20th June
11.25 am GMT, 20th June (London time)

Still on the ground....
Storms are still passing through Cleveland but should be clearing within next couple of hours......more later.


12.20am Eastern Time, 20th June
4.30 am GMT, 20th June (London time)

Time to beat....
Forgot to mention that we have to finish before 9.45 pm Central Time on Sunday evening, 21st June, to beat the existing record. Hopefully the weather systems in Ohio will clear out in good time.....


11.30 pm Central Time, 19th June
3.30 am GMT, 20th June (London time)

Forced down again by thunderstorms....
Just landed at Burke Lakefront Airport, Cleveland, Ohio, after some stunning low level flying in Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine before sunset. Fortunately the bad weather had cleared enough in the New England states to allow us to sneak into the northernmost airport of the flight (Maine) under some low clouds. However, a line of thunderstorms have forced us down once again (about to brush through Cleveland) with less than 2 hours to the finish point and just 4 more states to go. Once these storms have cleared, all being well by early morning, we'll be off again......


8.30pm am East Coast Time, 19th June
12.30 am GMT, 20th June (London time).

Arrived New York....
Just touched down in Albany, New York, the 42nd state. More weather to deal with tonight potentially......


2 am East Coast Time, 19th June
7.30 am GMT, 19th June (London time).

31 states so far....
Just finished a long day's flying, almost 14 hours total flight time and resulting in 31 states out of the 48 chalked up so far. Tonight we flew from Atlanta to Virginia via the Carolinas, Tennessee and Kentucky with foggy conditions threatening to stop progress at one stage. A very enjoyable day..... more weather to "sort out" tomorrow.....


11.30 am Central Time, 18th June
5.30 pm GMT, 18th June (London time)

Airborne again....
Airborne between Council Bluffs and Neosho, Missouri, 6700 feet, battling headwinds on this leg with ground speed 156 knots (versus True Airspeed of 180 knots). Had a 2-hour delay this morning sorting out a broken pilot's seat handle (of all things to break!). Today's plan is to head down to the southern states to Florida before heading north to the Carolinas and Virginias. The original plan was to head up to the north west states first and do an anti-clockwise route (as per the Route page), but weather avoidance sent us south west first on day 1 for a clockwise route. However, current bad weather to the east and New England is forcing us down to the southern states for an anti-clockwise "second half. More later....


9 am Central Time, 18th June
3pm GMT, 18th June (London time)

Storms, tornadoes and seats!....
Up at 5 am this morning, nipped down to Council Bluffs 60 miles south of Carroll where we sought refuge from storms passing through last night. (Early morning news reported Tornados touching down in Iowa last night and our original detour destination city, Des Moines, suffered storm damage.) Plans have been amended to head south to Florida today before routing up the east coast, and carry out an effective "figure of 8" pattern around the USA to time for bad weather moving out of the north east - hopefully. Just 5 minutes out of Council Bluffs on track for the southern states, the pilot's seat handle sheared off. With a risk of the pilot seat reclining unexpectedly we are back on the ground fixing this. More later......


1.20 pm Central Time.
7.20 am GMT London time

An exciting day all round....
An exciting day all round covering 8 states with almost 12 hours in the plane. Had to detour 80 miles around stormy weather in Montana resulting in some tremendous low level flying in the Rocky Mountains. Also enjoyed more low level flying down the Missouri River en-route to Council Bluffs. We reached Iowa at 10.15 pm but not at the planned destination as storms blew through the Council Bluffs area with "tornado watches" to boot. As we diverted to Des Moines, 70 miles to the east, a line of severe storms moved into that area also, and while night flying we were treated to quite a "fireworks show" literally all around us at a distance. The sensible thing was to put down on the ground which we did at Carroll, Iowa, a small untowered country town airport, where much to our amazement we were met by an attendant who promptly hangared the Baron and sent us on our way to a hotel.


3.20 pm Mountain Time (PDT), 17th June.
9.20 pm 17th June, GMT (London time)

Bad weather....
Had to divert due to bad weather in Montana which did put us behind schedule as we re-routed around storms in the mountains. We have since made great progress having landed in our 15th state. We have some great video footage for you to view shortly! We are hoping to land back in Council Bluffs & stay the night before heading off to the southern states.
Over & Out DF48 Crew


6.15 am Pacific Time (PDT), 17th June.
2.15 pm 17th June, GMT (London time)

Day 2....
About to depart Reno for Lewiston Idaho and on to the Dakotas before heading to the southern states while bad weather lingers in NE USA. More later....


10.55 pm Pacific Time (PDT), 16th June.
7 am 17th June, GMT (London time)

Great progress on the first day....
Departed Iowa late morning and headed southwest to avoid bad weather further north. The count is 11 states so far, stopping in Reno, Nevada for the night. Highlights included great help with refueling at Guymon, Oklahoma, and formation flying with Butch Weaver in his Cessna 310 over Colorado. Thermals and strong westerly winds over the Colorado mountains resulted in heavy turbulence at times (which unfortunately got the better of two of the crew in the back seats!). Also ran through some heavy rain showers over Nevada. Reno departure is set for 6 am Pacific Time (2 pm London time) tomorrow morning.


13:52pm Tuesday 16th June, Central Daylight Time, USA
7:52pm June 16th, GMT (London time)
We have finally started!....
Takeoff from Council Bluffs was roughly at 10:30am USA Time.
We have landed in 4 states; Nebraska, Kansas, Texas and Oklahoma. We have been cruising between 160 to 182 knots; which is very good considering the outside air temperature is very hot, this does mean a bumpy ride due to thermals. We want to thank the Guymon FBO for providing a speedy turn-around and discount on the fuel we loaded. Thank you.
See where we are in 4 hours time!  
DF48 Crew.


9.45 a.m. Tuesday 16th June, Central Daylight Time, USA
3.45 p.m. June 16th, GMT (London time)

Getting ready to depart....
Diabetes Flight 48 will soon be on their way. We can be tracked by using the GPS tracking link to the left.
If you would like to contact us we will be more than happy to answer any questions.
Please email either Karl or Douglas.


10.30 p.m. Monday 15th June, Central Daylight Time, USA
4.30 a.m. June 16th, GMT (London time)

Another Excellent Day....
Just had another excellent day at Council Bluffs making final preparations. We had interviews with the Omaha World Herald newspaper - by coincidence a reporter turned up to the airport looking for a story, and ended up flying with us in the afternoon (hopefully he is feeling better!). Also with a local radio station and a banner-tow pilot with his own blog:

We're delighted to see more donations hit this website - many thanks indeed again to everyone for your support.
Departure time is still set for tomorrow morning (Tuesday 16th June) - we'll be out at the airport at 8 a.m. - but the forecast for bad weather may delay departure until late morning - will keep you posted.


9.45 p.m. Sunday 14th June, Central Daylight Time, USA
3.45 a.m. June 15th, GMT (London time)

We're having a blast....
We're having a blast flying in Iowa prior to departure on the main adventure. Today (Sunday 14th June) saw a 40-minute flight up to Spencer Airport to join a " Breakfast Fly-In" and airshow, plus sample some decent hamburgers. For a flavour of our flying please watch this amazing video we filmed:

However, weather conditions (thunderstorms and potential icing conditions) in the north west part of the route, Washington and Idaho, have delayed departure by one day. Departure is now set for 8 a.m. Central Daylight Time, or 2 p.m. GMT (London time) from Council Bluffs, Iowa. We plan to keep you updated on progress every five hours as we refuel en-route, plus progress can be viewed in real-time via the GPS Tracking link (found at the top left hand side of each page). We've been delighted to see donations being made on the website Donations page - thank you very much to everyone for your support. 



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