Ham Radio Aviator On Round The World Flight

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by KQ6XA, May 31, 2017.

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  1. W5BIB

    W5BIB Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Last edited: Aug 5, 2017
  2. W5BIB

    W5BIB Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    "The Circle Is Complete"...Brian (WB6RQN) & "Spirit" have arrived Home (Kestrel Airpark, Texas) 04Aug. @ 2339z after 65 day 'round-the-world solo flight !!! "Ain't It Good To Be Back Home Again" :)

    It's Party Time !!! "ROLL OUT THE BARREL" :p:D:)

    Congratulations to Brian & "Spirit" - MISSION ACCOMPLISHED...

    (Can't wait for the "BOOK") ;)
    Steve / W5BIB

    Last edited: Aug 5, 2017
  3. K6DWI

    K6DWI Ham Member QRZ Page

    Welcome back home Brian!
    Steve, thank you for all the updates and info.
    W5BIB likes this.
  4. W5BIB

    W5BIB Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Thanks Chris, It was fun following/tracking Brian from the start & trying to keep everything current. The thanks go to Bonnie/KQ6XA for starting both threads.
    Being a ham & former Naval aircrewman, the tracking & posting only seemed natural. :)

    Following are a couple of posts from the Facebook:
    //Quote from Bonnie//
    Project Amelia Earhart
    3 hrs ·
    Brian Lloyd, flying his aircraft Spirit, completed the circumnavigation of the globe today at 2339UTC 04AUG2017 (6:39pm Local Time) , landing at Kestrel Airpark, in Spring Branch, Texas, USA. He began the circumnavigation flight at the origin (Kestrel Airpark) on 31 May 2017, and then stopped at Miami (Ft. Lauderdale airport) to begin the Historic Earhart Equatorial Route commemorating the 80th anniversary of the Earhart round-the-world announcement day, 1 June 1937. Brian's route included an homage overflight over Howland Island (as well as Baker and Nikumaroro islands), where the Earhart-Noonan flight was lost. He completed the Historic Earhart Equatorial Route on 30 July by landing at Oakland, then visited the same location and building at Oakland airport where Earhart stayed at the start of her original flight.

    Some of the records set on this flight: *First solo flight of the Historic Earhart Equatorial Route* ; *First male pilot to fly the Historic Earhart Equatorial Route in a propeller aircraft* ; *First to fly the Historic Earhart Equatorial Route in a single engine propeller aircraft* .

    Throughout the flight, Brian Lloyd's consistent message to the world has been, "the spirit of the early pioneers of flight should be remembered and honored".

    More fascinating content will be added to the Project Amelia Earhart website within the next few weeks. There are a lot of videos, audio, text, and photographs still to be processed. ( -webmaster)
    //End Quote//

    //Quote from Brian//
    Project Amelia Earhart
    46 mins ·
    Dear Friends,

    I'm home.

    I arrived to a tremendous welcome from friends from all over. My arrival at Kestrel Airpark was accompanied by an escort of eight airplanes.

    How do I say 'Thank You' to everyone here and abroad who has helped me along the way on this epic journey? I don't really know how to do it justice, so ...

    Thank You!

    Bonnie Crystal, the webmaster and keeper of all the information, has done a truly amazing job of getting information out so I could fly the airplane and just deal with the issues of the trip. Thank you Bonnie! I couldn't have done it without you!

    As the days go by, look for thank you's to other people who went out of their way to help me along my journey. I couldn't have done this trip without the time, effort, and good will of many people out there.

    Thank you.

    Stay tuned! There's still more to come!
    //End Quote//

    Steve / W5BIB
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2017
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  5. W5BIB

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    Last edited: Aug 5, 2017
  6. W5BIB

    W5BIB Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Interesting and informative Press Release about "Brian & Spirit's epic journey"

    Project Amelia Earhart
    30 mins ·
    PRESS RELEASE. (Please share with media & friends) Brian Lloyd Pilots His Plane Round The World - Flight Followed Historic Route on Earhart 80th Anniversary - Spring Branch Texas, USA. August 4, 2017 - Brian Lloyd, solo-flying his single-engine aircraft Spirit, landed at Kestrel Air Park today, completing his circumnavigation of the globe. He was accompanied over the last few miles by an escort of pilots in eight planes flying in formation with him. On the ground, a reception and hangar party welcomed him home.

    At the celebration, Brian Lloyd said, "How do I say, 'thank you' to everyone here and abroad who has helped me along the way on this epic journey? I couldn't have done this solo flight without the time, effort, and good will of hundreds of people out there around the world."

    He began the round-the-world flight at that same spot on 31 May 2017, then flew to Miami on 1 June to commemorate exactly eighty years since the famous Amelia Earhart flight began. For two months, he followed the historic Earhart equatorial route, stopping at dozens of airports that were once grass and dirt airstrips where Earhart had landed. Some of those airstrips have grown up to become sprawling international airports, while others simply don't exist anymore, or are in the midst of conflict zones.

    Brian Lloyd completed the historic route on 30 July, by landing at Oakland, California, which was Earhart's unfulfilled final destination. He retraced the steps of Amelia by visiting the historic building at Oakland airport where she had stayed during her original flights.

    Brian Lloyd said, "I am driven by the spirit of historic flights. It is important to remember the aviation pioneers like Amelia Earhart, and their contributions to aviation. Their bold actions made today's air travel possible for all of us."

    Lloyd's route included an homage overflight of Howland Island, that tiny atoll in Pacific Ocean where the famous flight was mysteriously lost in 1937. He dropped two large pink tropical flowers over the site in memoriam for Earhart and Noonan.

    When he reached Hawaii, Brian Lloyd said, "My respect for Amelia Earhart has risen a thousand times now that I have flown 28,000 miles in her shoes. Speeds are comparable, and I have had to deal with the same sort of weather that she did."

    Brian Lloyd is the first solo aviator to complete the historic Earhart equatorial route. Spirit has endured fierce winds, blasting sandstorms, and severe tropical weather along the equator. It has not been an easy flight, due to the long flight hours and complex logistics. On July 14th, Spirit's engine failed momentarily at 21,000 feet over the Pacific ocean, forcing Brian Lloyd to land in New Zealand for repairs.

    Everywhere he went, he invited ground crew and friends to sign the airplane with a marker pen. It became a mission of outreach and goodwill. The plane's fuselage and wings are now covered in signatures that bear witness to the huge network of support that it takes to fly around the world. At the Amelia Earhart Birthplace Museum in Atchison Kansas, Lloyd was awarded the medal from the Ninety-Nines, the famous international organization of women pilots founded in 1929, of which Amelia Earhart was its first president.

    Several world records were set by Brian Lloyd and Spirit on this flight: First solo flight of the Historic Earhart Equatorial Route, and first male pilot to fly the Historic Earhart Equatorial Route in a propeller aircraft.

    Upon landing in Texas, Brian Lloyd commented, "Hopefully I can motivate kids to go out and try new things. Here I am at sixty-three, in a single engine aircraft, flying around the world. You can go out and do something amazing, too."

    Brian Lloyd's aircraft, a Mooney M20K 231 with tail number N916BL, is outfitted with 200 gallons of fuel capacity and modern satellite avionics gear, giving it a 3000 mile range. But, like the Earhart's famous Lockheed Electra plane, there is a High Frequency (HF) radio in Spirit. Brian Lloyd used the HF radio to communicate with hundreds of ham radio operators all over the world while he was in flight, using the callsign "WB6RQN Aeronautical Mobile".

    About: Brian Lloyd, 63, is a pilot, flight instructor, engineer, educator, and radio operator. He lives near San Antonio, Texas, USA. The commemorative flights like Project Amelia Earhart, are co-sponsored by The Classic Aircraft Aviation Museum, a non-profit in Texas, and many other individuals who contribute to support the flights through donations.

    Press release and photos: http://projectameliaearhart.org/press/

    //End Quote//
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  7. W5BIB

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    Update from Brian's Facebook:

    Project Amelia Earhart
    8 hrs ·

    OK, enough "recovering". I must admit, I haven't done a lot for the last couple of days. Oh, my laundry got done on Saturday.

    Speaking of laundry, I managed to survive for 66 days on the road with just 6 changes of underwear, 4 shirts, two pair of trousers (one with zip-off lower legs that turns them into shorts), one pair of shorts, and one Nomex flight suit. It all fit into one soft-sided duffle bag. This is why I always look the same in my pictures.

    Today's project is to provide all the information about my flight to both Earthrounders and the NAA so that my circumnavigation becomes official. So I will be sitting at my desk most of the day. I have requests for interviews too and I have promised to be around for that as well. However, the morning is beautiful and I am feeling the tug of the sky. (Spell-check changed 'feeling' to 'fleeing' and maybe it is right -- I would be fleeing my work.) You'd think I would have had enough of flying. Apparently not.

    So what is next? Frankly, I don't know. There is still Lindbergh's flight and a shot at the world speed record over the route from NYC to Paris. After all, "Have Mooney, will travel." I have some ideas for projects down in Dominica. Of course, I still have students who need to get finished up! And I may go flying just for the fun of making HF contacts. I know there are still a lot of hams who would like a QSL from the flight. I may take someone with me to help with logging. Trying to fly, make contacts, and getting the info onto paper is a challenge.

    So, I guess the fight isn't quite over yet. Got to get to the paperwork. Here's wishing everyone a great day!
    //End Quote//
  8. W5BIB

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    Another Quote:

    Project Amelia Earhart
    6 hrs ·
    For those of you who like numbers, the actual length of my flight around the world was 29,948nm, 34,463 miles, or 55,463km. This was determined by going through my logbook and adding in all of the stops that were not on the original itinerary. If you include the hops where I had to turn back for problems and test hops after maintenance, the distance would have been over 31,000nm.

    That is a long way to fly.

    Actual flight time (engine start-up to engine shut-down, i.e. "loggable" hours) was 220.1 from engine start-up at Kestrel Airpark to engine shut-down at Kestrel Airpark 66 days later.
  9. W5BIB

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    Average speed (in MPH) for the entire journey: 34,463 miles divided by 220 hrs = 156.6 mph !! (not including the "turn-back & test-hops")
  10. W5BIB

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    Additional numbers concerning the flight:
    Project Amelia Earhart
    33,015,000 revolutions of the prop, 2250 gallons of fuel (at upwards of $10/gal), 48 quarts of oil (including oil changes), and I didn't listen to "Stairway to Heaven" even once. Frankly, I listened to Alison Krauss and Diana Krall.

    //Average speed (in MPH) for the entire journey: 34,463 miles divided by 220 hrs = 156.6 mph !! (not including the "turn-back & test-hops")//

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