In 2006 Douglas gave a series of 15 conference talks to organizations
in the USA including the American Diabetes Association (www.diabetes.org),
Taking Control of Your Diabetes (www.tcoyd.com)
and Children With Diabetes (www.childrenwithdiabetes.com).
2006 - Transcontinental Speed Record
On June 11th & 12th Douglas completed a westbound Transcontinental & World
Speed Record between Jacksonville, Florida and San Diego, California.
Total time taken was 10 hours 45 minutes and 35 seconds resulting
in an average speed of 193.85 miles per hour. Further details
on the specific flight can be found in the archives.
In total, in 2006 Douglas logged 408 hours,
catching up on a decent chunk of lost time after losing his medical
to continue his Royal Air Force jet flying career after being
diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Much of this flying was carried
out in the Colorado mountains, with several cross-country flights
to California and also to New Jersey, Carolina, Montana plus
retracing the Lewis & Clark Trail from Oregon to St. Louis.
Speed Record - June 2006 (Details)
On June 11th & 12th Douglas completed
a westbound Transcontinental & World Speed Record between
Jacksonville, Florida and San Diego, California.
It was originally intended to start early on
the 12th June but Tropical Storm Alberto was moving northwards
faster than expected. At 3 p.m. on Sunday 11th June, with thunderstorms
spinning off Alberto, it was decided to beat a hasty departure
even though the bulk of the flight would be carried out at night.
The clock was started by "Jacksonville Approach" (Air
Traffic Control) over Jacksonville International Airport at 2019.31
Zulu heading westwards. The first three hours saw more Tropical
Storm Alberto-related thunderstorms to the south followed by
some magnificent towering cumulus clouds to the west. After 5
hours a refueling stop was made at Abilene, Texas - many thanks
to Bill, Terry and Ritchie for arranging a quick turnaround time
here. Take off from Abilene was into the last few minutes of
sunset. With darkness prevailing some rare tailwinds were taken
advantage of (normally headwinds are encountered heading westwards)
by skimming along at 1,000 feet above the ground, right over
Texan oil wells and some associated gas flares. Soon it was up
to 8,500 feet to cross higher ground where groundspeed reduced
from 195 knots to less than 160 knots for over two hours.
Not long after the climb a full moon rose behind,
illuminating stunning mountain views in New Mexico, Arizona and
California alongside the Mexican border. For a while the angle
and brightness of the moonlight was such that it was possible
to switch off most of the cockpit instrument lights and enjoy
the views without artificial lighting inside - a surreal and
memorable few minutes.
Montgomery Airport, San Diego was crossed at
0705.06 Zulu, 10 hours 45 minutes and 35 seconds after flying
over Jacksonville. Once overhead Montgomery, however, the flight
was not over! An instrument approach had to be made through a
marine layer of cloud, and as soon as the Baron entered the cloud,
a diffuse orange glow lit up the cockpit interior -again, quite
a surreal atmosphere. Soon after popping out of cloud, the right
hand fuel tank needle registered zero! Although there should
have been over one hour of fuel left, no chances were taken and
a higher & steeper than normal approach was initiated in
case the right engine ran out of fuel. On landing, that sticky
little needle popped right back up to where it should have been
- an electrical glitch had provoked a few thoughtful moments!
Total time taken
from Jacksonville to San Diego was 10 hours, 45 minutes and
35 seconds resulting in an average speed of 168.45 knots or
193.85 miles per hour. This flight adds to an existing eastbound
transcontinental speed record set by Douglas in 2004, plus
five other world speed records set in the "Diabetes World
Flight" twin-engine Beech Baron aircraft.
To Dream: Flying Solo With Diabetes"