breaks unlimited altitude record (unofficially)
...Unofficially, that's the padding Bruce Bohannon, the Exxon Flyin' Tiger pilot, put between his plane and the altitude he needed to set another record for his class.
It happened April 10 in Lakeland, Florida Bohannon
needed 37,274 feet to break the previous record by three percent.Data is still being analyzed to make it official.The data includes videotape of the cockpit panel, with emphasis on the altimeter.Bohannon
said the GPS he
carried on board indicated he
had reached 37,400 feet but it has a plus or minus variance of 300 feet.Bohannon
said there were some tense moments during the climb.He
had to carefully monitor the cylinder head temperature and was concerned about running out of supplemental oxygen.
"At 36,000 feet it didn't want to go any higher," Bohannon
said."I hit a wall of some sort, there were several bangs in a row - a compressor stall - and I felt it barking and biting up there."Bohannon
thought the mixture was too lean and a few adjustments eased the problem.
"I was on the gauges 95% of the time," he
took off at noon with the intent of reaching 37,000 feet.He
had filed an instrument flight plan to a fix over the ocean, and on several occasions air traffic controllers had him hold so that other traffic could be accommodated.
Up next for Bohannon
will be a time-to-climb to 12,000 meters, probably at AirVenture Oshkosh.There is no current record for his
weight class, so he
is looking to set a record that no one will beat.
The Southern Aviator - 877-519-1672