Diabetic To Fly 48 Contiguous In 65 Hours (Or Less)

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Insulin-dependent pilot Michael Hunter expects to test his blood sugar levels roughly 200 times over the next 60 or so hours as he shares piloting duties with two other pilots in a bid to set a record for the fastest time to land in each of the 48 contiguous states. The flight left Lakeland yesterday morning, is being flown in a Cirrus SR22 made available to Hunter by Cirrus Design, and will succeed if it manages the tour in less than five and one half days -- the three pilots hope to return Friday to Sun 'n Fun. Hunter is the first person with diabetes granted FAA approval to fly as an air show performer (he flies a Laser 230) and is believed to be the only insulin-dependent diabetic air show pilot in the world. He lives and flies in good health with the aid of an insulin pump, which supplies a dose every three minutes. Check FlightForDiabetes.com for periodic updates including route information and a trip log -- as well as Hunter's diet and blood testing information. Hunter said the Center for Disease Control recently announced that it expects one of every three children born after 2000 to develop diabetes during their lives. Today there are roughly 6,000 licensed pilots flying with type II (non-insulin using) and 500 insulin dependent pilots. Flight For Diabetes hopes the attempt will raise awareness about the disease.