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Record Claimed in Nevada Sailplane Flight

Sailplane
Photo Credit: Record-Courier

June 9, 2011 —Sailplane pilot Gordon Boettger, of Minden, Nevada, broke his own Northern Hemisphere soaring record on May 31 by flying a total distance of 1,401 miles in his Kestrel sailplane in 13 hours, 17 minutes. He and Hugh Bennett set the previous distance record of 1,367 miles on April 20. The flight was keyed by strong winds as high as 80 mph along his route on the east slope of the Sierra Nevada. His average speed was clocked at 110 mph.

According to The Record-Courier, Boettger departed Minden-Tahoe Airport on Tuesday morning and flew south to Little Lake in the Owens Valley just north of Inyokern before heading back north. He reached an altitude of 28,400 feet MSL and speeds as high as 165 mph. At times, his climb rate was 1,000 fpm.

“All with no motor,” he said in an e-mail to The Record-Courier.

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