Aiming for a circumnavigation record – Bill Harrelson

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

Capture from Spidertracks Jan 1 - over Antarctica

From Spidertracks Jan 1 – over Antarctica

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!