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Able Flight Aims To Set S-LSA Coast-To-Coast Record

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Early next month, pilots Matt Hansen and Jessica Scharle of Able Flight will attempt to set the initial speed record for a transcontinental flight of a light sport aircraft, with a plan to fly coast to coast in a single day. Their purpose is to demonstrate that an LSA is a viable mode of transportation for long-distance flying. Hansen, 23, is a flight instructor who has been active in training people with disabilities to fly, and Scharle, 24, is an Able Flight scholarship recipient who earned her sport pilot certificate last year. She was born with a rare condition that nearly fused every joint in her body into immobility, but after numerous surgeries and years of physical therapy she has become completely self-sufficient. Their Peregrine FA-04 is a factory-built S-LSA that carries 30 gallons of fuel. With an average groundspeed of 110 knots, they plan to make three refueling stops along their 1,814-nm route from Jacksonville, Fla., to San Diego. They will complete the flight in the 17 hours available between sunrise and sunset and stay below 10,000 feet msl.

According to the team, the National Aeronautical Association does not yet have a category that "allows for the restrictions and limitations for LSA," so they will apply to the Guinness World Records for an official record.

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