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Gyroplane Pilots Set Multiple Records

  • Gyroplane Pilots Set Multiple Records
    Dayton Dabbs, left, and John Craparo, right, at the end of their record-setting journey.
  • Gyroplane Pilots Set Multiple Records
    The Magni M-16 stands in stark contrast to the bizjets behind it on the ramp at Santa Monica.
  • Gyroplane Pilots Set Multiple Records
    The record-setting routes.

October 28, 2015 - John Craparo, EAA 752480, and Dayton Dabbs, EAA 1179353, of Texas have claimed four new speed records for speed over a recognized course in a gyroplane weighing less than 500 kg (1,102 pounds).

Craparo, age 56, and Dabbs, age 30, copiloted and alternated as pilot in command of a Magni M-16 gyroplane for the 73-hour, 5,365-statue-mile flight.

The record speeds, which were measured from initial takeoff to final landing, including all rest periods, are as follows:

Dallas to Los Angeles: average speed: 56 kph

Los Angeles to New York City: average speed: 64 kph

New York City to Dallas: average speed: 38 kph

Eastbound Transcontinental Speed Record in a Gyroplane less than 500 kg, average speed: 64 kph

“Aside from any record setting, we displayed the capability of this small aircraft as a safe, comfortable and economical touring vehicle for short and long distance travel,” Dabbs said.

The records are currently awaiting official recognition from the National Aeronautic Association (NAA) and Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI), which complete audits of claims.

The flight was sanctioned by the National Aeronautic Association (NAA), and the pair also gratefully received assistance from the FAA and airport authorities.

Because the gyroplane had to take off and land “no further than 20 km or 13 miles from city center at a tower controlled airport” in order to be sanctioned by the NAA, Craparo and Dabbs were limited to airports with highly controlled, busy Class B airspace.

Local tower controllers also helped out with official timekeeping, acting as observers for the gyroplane’s takeoffs and landings.

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