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Press Releases

This section shows press releases and images when they are available to the public.

Update 1 June 2017


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Download TXT PDF

Pilot Embarks on Earhart 80th Anniversary Flight

Brian Lloyd Solo Flight Follows Historic Amelia Earhart Route
Miami, Florida, USA, June 1, 2017 – As pilot Brian Lloyd propels his single-engine plane named “Spirit” into the sky on a solo round-the-world adventure, he commemorates Amelia Earhart’s famous flight eighty years ago on this date in 1937. The two month flight will follow Earhart’s historic route to circumnavigate the world at the equator, which starts in Miami, skirts South America, crosses the Atlantic, then Africa, and onward around the world.

Prior to departure from his home airstrip in Texas, 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.”

“My father taught me to fly when I was 14 years old. Aviation is in my family, both of my sons are pilots.” Mr. Lloyd said.

He is actively communicating while in the air. The public can track his flight on the web, social media, as well as Ham radio.

“I’ve been a ham radio operator since 1976 and enjoy radio communications very much. The flight route has some very long legs, so I will have plenty of opportunities to talk with ham operators while flying over the world’s oceans,” Brian said.

Commercial airliners fly long distances every day, but non-stop ocean flights are quite difficult for small propeller planes, which have limited range. To make it possible, Brian Lloyd modified his 1979 Mooney airplane to carry 150 gallons more fuel, then equipped it with modern navigation equipment, long range radio, and satellite communications. Still, the flight is not without risk, and special safety gear must be taken along. The public can track his flight on the web, social media, as well as Ham radio.

About: Brian Lloyd, 62, is a pilot, flight instructor, engineer, educator, and radio operator. He lives near San Antonio, Texas, USA. The commemorative flights are co-sponsored by The Classic Aircraft Aviation Museum, a non-profit in Texas, and many other individuals who contribute to supporting the flights through donations.

Project Amelia Earhart website: http://projectameliaearhart.org
Press Kit: http://projectameliaearhart.org/press
Press Contact: Amy Hartmel, Media Coordinator. 
ENDS
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Update 31 May 2017

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Download: TXTPDF

Ham Radio Aviator Departs for Round The World Flight

Brian Lloyd WB6RQN Flight Commemorates 80 Years Since Earhart

Miami, Florida, USA, June 1, 2017 – As pilot Brian Lloyd propels his single-engine plane named “Spirit” into the sky on a solo round-the-world adventure, he commemorates Amelia Earhart’s famous flight eighty years ago on this date in 1937. He is communicating live via radio with Ham operators while flying. The two month flight will follow Earhart’s historic route to circumnavigate the world at the equator, which starts in Miami, skirts the chain of Caribbean islands, then along the coast of South America, crosses the Atlantic eastward, and then onward around the world.

Prior to departure from his home airstrip in Texas, 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.”

While he is in the air, using the call sign WB6RQN, Brian encourages Ham radio operators to contact him on the following frequencies: 14210.0 kHz USB, 14346.0 kHz USB, 18117.5 kHz USB, or 7130.0 kHz LSB. His HF (High Frequency) radio is a Mobat Micom-3 transceiver, with a maximum power of 125 Watts, and an antenna under the fuselage. He also utilizes ALE (Automatic Link Establishment) on the Amateur Radio HFLINK frequencies http://hflink.com

Brian Lloyd’s radio schedule is posted on the project’s website http://projectameliaearhart.org/ham-radio

“I’ve been a ham radio operator since 1976 and enjoy radio communications very much. The plane is set up with HF radio for aeronautical purposes with the normal pilot headset controls. The flight route has some very long legs, so I will have plenty of opportunities during June and July to talk with ham operators while flying over the world’s oceans,” Brian said.

Commercial airliners fly long distances every day, but non-stop ocean flights are quite difficult for small propeller planes, which have limited range. To make it possible, Brian Lloyd modified his 1979 Mooney airplane to carry 150 gallons more fuel, then equipped it with modern navigation equipment, long range radio, and satellite communications. Still, the flight is not without risk, and special safety gear must be taken along. The public can track his flight on the web, social media, as well as Ham radio.

About: Brian Lloyd, 62, is a pilot, flight instructor, engineer, educator, and radio operator. He lives near San Antonio, Texas, USA. The commemorative flights are co-sponsored by The Classic Aircraft Aviation Museum, a non-profit in Texas, and many other individuals who contribute to supporting the flights through donations.

Amelia Earhart website: http://projectameliaearhart.org
Press Kit: http://projectameliaearhart.org/press
Press Contact: Amy Hartmel, Media Coordinator. 

 

ENDS
### (456 words)

 

Update May 22Unfavorable winds and weather on the Atlantic route combined with airplane equipment problems forced the New York to Paris speed flight to be postponed until after the Round-The-World flight. There was only a short window of time that the flight could have happened, and the window has now closed. Mr. Lloyd will fly back to Texas for repairs as soon as the storm clears in Long Island, New York.
Brian Lloyd is scheduled to take off from Miami on the Amelia Earhart 80th Anniversary round-the-world flight on June 1st.

A new press release will be uploaded soon.

Press Release: Download: TXT PDF

 

 

Photos and Images Released for Publication

Signatures and flags on Spirit at Paramaribo airport Suriname 3JUN2017. photo ©2017 Brian Lloyd

Signatures and flags on Spirit at Paramaribo airport Suriname 3JUN2017. photo ©2017 Brian Lloyd CC-BY

 

Brian Llloyd prepares for takeoff in his airplane Spirit on 02JUN2017 at Canefield airport in Dominica. (CC0-1.0)

Brian Llloyd taxis for takeoff in his airplane Spirit on 02JUN2017 at Canefield airport in Dominica. (CC0-1.0)

 

Brian Lloyd parks his airplane Spirit on the tarmac shortly after arrival at Canefield Airport, Dominica, on 1 June 2017. (CC0-1.0)

Brian Lloyd parks his airplane Spirit on the tarmac shortly after arrival at Canefield Airport, Dominica, on 1 June 2017. (CC0-1.0)

 

Brian Lloyd with his aircraft Spirit greeted by ground crew on arrival at Canefield Airport Dominica on 1 June 2017. (CC0-1.0)

Brian Lloyd with his aircraft Spirit greeted by ground crew on arrival at Canefield Airport Dominica on 1 June 2017. (CC0-1.0)

 

Brian Lloyd in airplane Spirit on 21 May 2017 at 20000ft over USA Photo by Brian Lloyd

Brian Lloyd piloting the  airplane Spirit in flight on 21 May 2017 at 20,000 feet over eastern USA. Photo by Brian Lloyd via satellite

 

Brian Lloyd prior to flight of airplane Spirit 21 MAY 2017 in Spring Branch Texas USA

Brian Lloyd prior to flight of airplane Spirit 21 MAY 2017 in Texas USA. Click for higher resolution.

Brian Lloyd pauses prior to flight of airplane Spirit 21 MAY 2017 in Spring Branch Texas USA - Photo Credit: Josh Flowers CC-BY 2.0

Brian Lloyd pauses prior to flight of airplane Spirit 21 MAY 2017 in Texas USA. Click for higher resolution.

 

Brian Lloyd prepares for flight of airplane Spirit 21 MAY 2017 in Spring Branch Texas USA - Photo Credit: Josh Flowers CC-BY 2.0

Brian Lloyd prepares for flight of airplane Spirit 21 MAY 2017 in Texas USA. Click for higher resolution.

 

Brian Lloyd flies his airplane Spirit during a test flight above Texas, USA

Brian Lloyd flies his airplane Spirit during a test flight above Texas, USA. May 2017. Credit: Josh Flowers. CC-BY.

 

Brian Lloyd holds the extra 100 gallon fuel tank during installation in the Spirit airplane

Brian Lloyd holds the 100 gallon extra fuel tank during its installation into the airplane Spirit. May 2017. Credit: Brian Lloyd. CC-BY.

Recently completed upgrades to the airplane Spirit includes improved avionics shown in this photo May 2017

Recently completed upgrades to the airplane Spirit includes improved avionics shown in this photo. May 2017. Brian Lloyd. CC-BY.

Factoids

The previous New York to Paris speed record for this type of aircraft was set in 1983 in a Beechcraft Bonanza.

  • NAA/FAI (National Aeronautic Association) World Record: Speed Over a Recognized Course
    Start City: New York; Finish City: Paris
    Performance: 200.61 mph (322.85 kmh)
    Class , Subclass , Classification , Group C , C-1 , c , I (Internal Combustion)

Brian Lloyd Quotes

Pilot Humor:

“Does this extra fuel tank make my plane look fat?”

“The three most useless things in flying are the altitude above you, the runway behind you, and the fuel that’s not in the tanks.”

On Historic Aviation

“I started flying in 1968. I was 14 and my father taught me to fly. That was only 41 years after Lindbergh’s flight. The Boeing 707, 727, and Douglas DC-8 were the mainstays of commercial air service, with non-stop flights from NYC to Paris happening on a daily basis.”

“Surprisingly, airplanes themselves have not changed that much since 1968. Yes, we got the Boeing 747 a few years later and it is only now starting to be phased out for more efficient twin-engine aircraft. The cockpits look different now, with computers doing more of the work, completely eliminating the Flight Engineer from the flight crew, but even with that, the pilot from 1968 would immediately understand most of the new flight deck and could become completely comfortable after a few hours in a simulator. “

“But if we could bring Charles Lindbergh forward to today, I would bet that in 10 hours I could train him to operate Spirit and do his flight all over again. Equally, I know I could fly the Sprit of St. Louis and repeat his flight if I wanted to. The connection across a century of flight is still there. ”

“One more thought about aviation and time. 24 years spanned from the Wright’s first controlled, powered flight to Lindbergh’s flight to Paris. Only 37 more years passed before the advent of the SR71, perhaps the pinnacle of aircraft aerodynamic technology. Flight in aircraft has has truly become a mature technology.”

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