Breaking Altitude Records and Setting New Altitude Records in My Powered Parachute
I have given up on the cross country flying for a while because it is extremely expensive and time consuming, however I do anticipate doing more in the future.
My latest interests are in breaking current world altitude records and setting new ones. There are 3 categories that I am interested in, and I plan to use my Experimental Light Sport Aircraft (ELSA) Powered Parachute, the EZ Rider aka “The Rocket” to do it in the Microlight aircraft category. I had an Ultralight version of the Rocket, but once configured for the flight, it could not meet the weight requirements set forth by the United States Federal Aviation Administration.
I worked for a year to get everything approved and ready for the flight that I know would have been successful, and in the final days I had to abandon the idea of using the Ultralight.
I am going after 3 different world records;
1. Highest Altitude
2. Time to 3000 Meters (9843 feet)
3. Time to 6000 Meters (19,685 feet)
The current Altitude record data is;
Altitude : 5 386 m (17 671 feet)
Date of flight: 09/09/2000
Pilot: Howard M. GISH, Jr (USA)
Course/place: Birchwood, AK (USA)
Six Chuter SR-2
Time to climb to a height of 3 000 m : 16 min 51 sec
Date of flight: 26/12/2003
Pilot: Istvan KOCSIS (Hungary)
Course/place: Sarvar (Hungary)
Sunflightcraft "Explorer" & Sycon Chiron 340
Time to climb to a height of 6 000 m : No current record
I hope to beat the 2 current records and set the 6000 meter record all in one flight.
It is now September 3rd, 2010 and after several days of intensive back and forth talks with the authorities, it has been determined that I cannot use the Ultralight and if I am going to do this mission I will have to use an N numbered Powered Parachute. So, I really am starting all over again with this project.
I have already requested a modification to the Authorization from the Memphis Air Route Traffic Control to allow the flight in an N numbered craft instead of the Ultralight that they already authorized. It took me 6 months to get that authorization, and I am sincerely hoping that it will not take that long this time.
My N numbered Powered Parachute is a very heavy aircraft and there is no way that it could be successful at these record attempts as it is now. Starting today I am “upgrading” the airframe and wing to make it lighter. I truly expect to have the upgrades completed sometime next week with any good luck for a change. After they are complete I will be required to fly it in the new configuration for a testing phase.
While I will be working as hard and fast as I can to get the aircraft ready for the flight, I have no way of knowing when or even if, for sure, the flight will take place. The authorities have stated that the way to do this successfully is by using an N numbered craft, and they have encouraged me to go this route, but I have nothing in writing yet. I have learned over the past year that nothing counts until it is in writing.
As I plug away at obtaining the official authorizations that are necessary, I will keep the website updated with the progress. I came close to throwing in the towel on this project yesterday, but somehow I managed to maintain my composure and not anger anyone. That is hard for me sometimes. J I guess the older that I get, the more diplomatic I am becoming too. You have to be to deal with stuff like this. That is for sure!
Doing something like this requires a lot of help in many different forms. I would like to thank the following people and companies for their help and support so far:
The folks at the Memphis ATC, Airframes Unlimited, Flytec USA, Bear Perkins , Duane Hohenstein - Master Parachute Rigger 931-980-2164 (email@example.com), Kearfott Graphix - Dan E. Kearfott(firstname.lastname@example.org ), Direct Hits(fireintheholedist.com), Lynx(AirplaneGear.com ) , The Ultralight Place(theultralightplace.com)
Doron Dekel of Toronto Canada, Martin Ignazito, Reggie (Nail) Toler, Gene Landeros, Darrell Mazzoline, Bill Watson
Steve Thomas, Pilot of the Rocket.