Racing around the world in an Eggbeater

Posted By on August 19, 2008

agustaa109sAnother circumnavigation record falls … this time its a trip around the world in a “whirlybird.” Scott Kasprowicz and Steve Sheik set a new world record for the fastest trip around the world in a helicopter. They circumnavigated the globe from LaGuardia Airport crossing the Atlantic, traversing 20 countries, 12 time zones and 49 states in 11 days, 7 hours and 3 minutes. This feat beat the old record of just over 17 days.

“We just approached our schedule very aggressively, we didn’t let anything stop us or slow us down,” said Kasprowicz, 55, of Middleburg, Va.

Breaking the record meant forgoing some luxuries, including food, sleep and showers.

“You’re in the cockpit on a good day 18, sometimes 20 or 21 hours,” said Sheik, 38, of Baltimore. He said he and Kasprowicz ate mostly trail mix and granola bars.

“Bathroom breaks [were] never really a problem,” Kasprowicz said because of frequent refueling stops. The helicopter made more than 80 stops over the course of the trip and the crew got the average refueling time down to 12-14 minutes.

The record-breaking feat was almost derailed when the helicopter was delayed in Russia for a day due to airport closures and a strict air traffic control system.

The crew flew for Alaska on Friday night, narrowly escaping being grounded in Russia for the weekend.

To do it, they chartered an aircraft and arranged for three 55-gallon drums of jet fuel to be flown onto St. Lawrence Island in the Bering Sea. “We got out literally by the skin of our teeth,” Kasprowicz said.

“We really had to push hard to make up for that lost day in Russia,” Sheik said. “By the end of the trip, we really just had to sacrifice rest and sleep.”

The pair holds the record for the fastest helicopter flight from New York to Los Angeles, and, on this trip, also broke the record for the fastest trip from New York to London.

“It was a great adventure and we’re really glad to be home,” Kasprowicz said, adding that he was most looking forward to “a good sleep on a real bed.”

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Desultory - des-uhl-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee

  1. lacking in consistency, constancy, or visible order, disconnected; fitful: desultory conversation.
  2. digressing from or unconnected with the main subject; random: a desultory remark.
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