Bill Harrelson pictured in his Lancair IV after his polar circumnavigation in January 2015.
On February 20, 2016 – Bill Harrelson, LOBO Oz member and EAA Lifetime member, who successfully circumnavigated the earth via the polar route earlier this year in his modified Lancair IV N6ZQ, will be the featured speaker at the LOBO Oz (Lancair Owners and Builders Organization Australia) fly-in to be held at the NSW Sports Aircraft Club Napper Field airport at Wedderburn over the 19th to 21st February 2016.
“Bill Harrelson had a Walter Mitty dream, one of building an airplane in his hangar and flying it around the world in record time,” said LOBO (USA) President Jeff Edwards. “He fulfilled that dream earlier this year while the world watched his adventure unfold on the Internet.”
In February 2013 Harrelson concluded a record long-distance flight (7,051 nautical miles) flying N6ZQ nonstop from Guam to Jacksonville, Florida. “Bill’s inspirational efforts in designing, building, and flying the plane highlight the unique capabilities and efficiencies of modern homebuilt aircraft when flown by a true aviator,” Edwards added.
Bill and his wife Sue are heading off in their purpose built long range Lancair 1V on a little holiday through the Pacific, and eventually to Australia. How good is it to be able to jump into the aircraft you built, a proven long-range Lancair, of course, and fly it away on holidays to any destination in the world?
Bill and Sue are on their third build at the moment, and I am really looking forward to having them entertain us at LOBO Oz fly-in in February.
If you would like to learn a little about flying for range and LOP operations, or even about flying non-stop for 38 hours, then I could not think of a better person to listen to. Folks, don’t miss this one, as we will put together an interesting program for the weekend.
If you think it is too far to come for a LOBO Oz fly-in, think again – and consider the distance that Bill and Sue will be covering to kindly give their time to our LOBO Oz group. See you then!
LOBO Oz President elect Fred Moreno, along with Gary Burns, will set off early in the morning heading across the Tasman to Christchurch. The plan is to depart Camden, overflying Canberra and then Sydney, before setting course across the Tasman to Christchurch New Zealand.
You will be able to keep an eye on their progress by clicking on this link: https://share.delorme.com/FREDERICKMoreno
The record attempt which has been registered with the FAI will be from both Canberra and Sydney to Christchurch in the piston powered aeroplane class C-1c.
Back in 1998, Gary Burns flew his then, Lancair IV VH-LKG around the world, and is the holder of many records in this very class.
As many of us here in Oz prepare for New Year festivities, spare a thought for a fellow Lancair owner Bill Harrelson who will spend his New Year in his Lancair IV!
According to Lancair.com:
His plan is to circumnavigate the Earth over the North & South poles in world record time. Bill departed Kinston, NC on 28 December 2014 in his purpose-built Lancair IV, N6ZQ, bound for Brazil on his first leg. Conditions are such that he may stretch the first leg enough to overfly Brazil, instead landing at Montevideo, Uruguay. Lancair News
This is Bill’s second attempt, since his previous one (last year) was circumvented by adverse weather conditions over the South Pole.
While details online mainly refer to this previous attempt, it is possible to get some sense of where he is and where he is headed using a number of sources which follow.
According to Flight Aware (yesterday?):
Retired airline captain Bill Harrelson, departed KISO (Kinston, NC) yesterday morning nonstop to SUAA (Angel S Adami Airport in Montevideo, Uruguay) on the first leg of another epic solo flight. This is Bill’s second attempt in his specially built Lancair IV N6ZQ at flying around the world over both poles.
For more up-to-date details from Flight Aware, simply submit his call sign – N6ZQ
Another source, Spidertracks, has enabled a public page for this journey. Here you can find, in real time, his location and tracking; as well as speed, altitude and other detail seen in this capture.
Lancair International has also featured Bill’s flight: N6ZQ Polar Flight, and should update newsworthy information about the flight as it comes to hand.
Such a journey is not to be taken light-heartedly. Bill’s Lancair IV was purpose-built and has been modified to carry a long-range fuel load of 361 gallons. As a retired airline pilot, Bill also has extensive flying experience and has already achieved a number of long distance flights in his Lancair:
(he)flew his Lancair IV nonstop from Guam, in the western Pacific, to Jacksonville, Florida. The hop, if you can call it that, of about 8,000 statute miles took 38 and a half hours. If that weren’t enough, his positioning trip to Guam included a 20-hour leg from Indiana to Hawaii, and he did the whole out-and-back journey in the course of a week.
Read more at http://www.flyingmag.com/technique/flight-planning/flight-planning-globe#9ZMVbeKCTAjeOMyV.99
For more about Bill and his current and past attempts see: Pilot to overfly both poles in earth-rounding bid. We look forward to hearing news of his success in early January – he is expected home around January 6 2015!