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Trio of pilots claims record for around the world flight

National Aeronautic Association
Contact: Art Greenfield, 703-527-0226 May 19, 2004 E-Mail: records@naa-usa.org

Trio of pilots claims record for around the world flight

Crew from California also claims several other aviation world records

Arlington, VA -Three pilots from California claimed a speed record for an around the world flight with the National Aeronautic Association this week.

Matt Brooks, Fred Lohden and Tim Weber completed the record-breaking flight for Speed Around the World (Westbound) in 4 days 19 hours 4 minutes, averaging a speed of 199 miles per hour. The crew flew 22,916 miles; a flight must cover 22,859 miles (the distance along the tropics of Capricorn and Cancer) to be considered "around the world" by international rules. The pilots also claimed a variety of other speed records, all for Speed over a Recognized Course between two cities.

The crew made the flight in a Cessna 501 Citation; it is believed to be the first time that model has been flown around the world. The Cessna was also the lightest aircraft (less than 12,500 pounds) to claim a record for an around-the-world flight traveling westward. The Cessna was modified to make the record-breaking flight possible. The plane was outfitted with Garrett Aviation's FJ44 Eagle II STC package, giving it extra power and fuel capacity. This new Garrett modification available to 501SP series Cessna Citations consists of two major changes to the original airplane: The well known Eagle modification with numerous aerodynamic and other upgrades for performance and range and the installation of Williams FJ44-2A engines with much more thrust and efficiency.

The FJ44 Eagle II reaches Flight Level 430 in less than 30 minutes compared to 1 hour and 20 minutes for a JT15D Eagle to 41,000 ft. It is also 50 knots faster at maximum cruise and has a substantially greater range of up to 2000 NM. In addition, the FJ44 Eagle II features sophisticated LCD engine instruments, as well as many other improvements as part of the standard Garrett Aviation's FJ44 Eagle II STC package.

Williams International and Garrett Aviation, a wholly owned subsidiary of General Electric Company, co-sponsored the record attempt, as well as Universal Weather and Aviation Services, which provided flight planning and logistical support throughout the record attempt.

"Most people fly east, but we decided to go against the wind and fly west," Brooks, the Flight Commander, said. "Without all the teamwork and people helping us, the record wouldn't have happened. And we think this record is going to stand for a while."

The crew made 24 stops during its trip around the world, starting in Teterboro, N.J., on May 12 and concluding there May 17. The trip took the pilots across North America, through both Florida and Alaska. They then crossed the Pacific Ocean and landed in Russia, then made stops throughout Asia in Japan, Taiwan, China, Thailand, Bangladesh, India, Oman, and Saudi Arabia. After touching down once in Africa (Egypt), the crew continued with stops in Turkey, Poland and England before crossing the Atlantic via Iceland, Greenland and Canada. The flight over-flew 40 countries and landed in 17 countries.

The crew for the record-breaking flight has compiled 90 years of combined flying experience. Brooks, a 52 year-old from San Francisco, has been flying since he was 13 out of KHWD and is currently the CEO of Ardenbrook, Inc., a real estate investment company. Lohden, a 62-year-old from Oakland, was a Naval Aviator and is a retired captain for United Airlines; he was a senior aviation analyst for NASA. Weber, a 32-year-old from San Ramon, has flown as a commercial pilot for Delta Airlines and now works as a NASA aviation analyst as well. Lohden and Weber are also pilots for Ardenbrook. More information on the flight is available at www.ardenflight.com

NAA is a non-profit, membership organization devoted to fostering opportunities to participate fully in aviation activities and to promoting public understanding of the importance of aviation and space flight to the United States. NAA certifies all national aviation records, and all world records set in the U.S.