Combs Completes 50-State Journey in a Light-Sport Aircraft
Michael Combs reflects on the completion of his epic 40,000-mile, 50-state journey.
October 4, 2012 - When Michael Combs landed his REMOS, Hope One, at the Kaneohe Bay Airshow in Hawaii on September 30, it marked the completion of an ambitious mission to touch down in all 50 states in a light-sport aircraft.
"You are witnessing history today, folks," stated the announcer as the wheels of the REMOS aircraft gently touched down in front of the main grandstand area.
Michael took off on what he calls the Flight for the Human Spirit from Salina, Kansas, on April 8, 2010, and flew to 49 states in just five and a half months. The elusive 50th state of Hawaii was the challenge that was most difficult to achieve. "We really thought that Hawaii would be simpler than this," Combs explained, "but the costs of shipping were crazy.
"This has been an incredible experience," Combs continued. "I feel excited beyond belief that we have successfully completed this mission, but also am looking forward to more of the adventures that we are already planning. This is a huge accomplishment in the world of aviation and really proves beyond a doubt just what a light-sport aircraft can do. It also has demonstrated that there are truly no limits to the potential of the sport pilot's license."
Throughout his journey, Michael has flown more than 40,000 miles and landed at more than 200 airports. His primary goal was to reach more than 20 million people with the message that it is never too late to follow your dreams.
The REMOS is the first light-sport aircraft to fly in all 50 states, and Michael is the first sport pilot to fly the same aircraft in all of the 50 states. He currently holds five world records in aviation and is already planning other record-setting flights in the Caribbean, Australia, and another attempt to fly Hope One on a transcontinental flight next spring, setting a world record under FAI and NAA rules.
"People really raise their eyebrows when they hear that this incredible project began literally with nothing but a dream," Combs said. "[When] we took off from Salina on that first day we only had two weeks of funding in our pockets for fuel, lodging, rental cars, and food. It has been an experience far beyond aviation that truly shows the power of the human spirit that endures in all of us."
Combs is currently writing a book about his adventure that will be released in 2013. Visit the Flight for the Human Spirit website to learn more.