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Diabetes Flight 48
Raising awareness of Diabetes
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Fund Raising Dinner Images:
The best 80 of the night's images are available here for viewing and purchase - all money to JDRF.


Diabetes Flight 48, an attempt by Douglas Cairns, a pilot with type 1 diabetes, and James D'Arcy, also a pilot with diabetes, to break the record to land in all 48 Contiguous States of the USA finished on 20th June 2009! And shaved 33 hours off the existing record by finishing in 97 hours, 32 minutes & 37 seconds total lapsed time! (4 days, 1 hour & 32 minutes.)

Fund Raising Dinner:
A fund-raising dinner at the RAF Club in London was held for Diabetes Flight 48 (June 2009), organised by Deborah and Melanie Parker, Al Rogers and Douglas, with entertainment by Renfield the Butler. Read more and view photos of the event here.

Diabetes Flight 48

Currently, only 5 countries worldwide allow pilots with diabetes using insulin to fly on a private licence, with the USA offering the most flexibility. In addition to raising funds for diabetes research, Diabetes Flight 48 (and www.diabetesworldflight.com in 2003) aims to highlight that diabetes need not limit the scope of people's dreams and ambitions.

The flight started on Tuesday 16th June from Council Bluffs Airport, Iowa, and finished in Kenosha, Wisconsin, just over four days later.

Overall it was a tremendous project of over 7,000 miles, with stunning low level flying in Utah, Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, New Hampshire, Maine and over Lake Michigan just before finishing. Stormy weather resulted in detours in Montana, and on the second night, thunderstorms surrounded the aircraft in Iowa, forcing us down onto a tiny country airport to seek overnight refuge. More "tornado watch" storms forced refuge again in Cleveland on the fourth night. Then ground fog conditions in Georgia, the Carolinas and West Virginia added to the challenge of night landings on Night No. 3.

It was not just the weather that provided difficulties for the team - North America's wildlife also got in on the act. A take-off had to be abandoned in Indiana as four large waterfowl refused to vacate the runway. Finally, mechanical mishaps threatened the record attempt, including a broken pilot's seat and a temperamental engine RPM gauge that had to be coaxed back into life by revving the engine prior to each of the last five refueling stops' take offs. Each flight can be viewed on the Spidertracks link to the side of this page.

A HUGE "thank you" to all the crew on board, James, Dave, Karl and Daniel, the organizers of the fund-raising dinner, Deb, Mel and Alan, also Anna for her work on the filming project, and to all those who have supported this project and all the donations received so far. Including the fund-raising dinner we have raised over £17,000 (US$28,000), all of which goes to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, UK. We are very grateful indeed for this support.

A few people have asked "What's next?" Well, another project is indeed in the "brewing pot" for next summer. More later.....


The aim behind Diabetes Flight 48:
The aim behind Diabetes Flight 48 (DF48) is to raise awareness of diabetes and to raise funds for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, UK (www.jdrf.org.uk). A terrific fund-raising dinner aided by Renfield the Butler was held at the Royal Air Force Club on 10th June - many thanks to all those who attended, to supporters, and to Deborah, Melanie and Al for all the organizing!

Donations to JDRF UK can be made via the above "Donations" page - all the flight costs are covered by private funds, allowing all donations to go direct to JDRF.


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