Check out www.limitless-horizons.org and (FlightAware) to track Matt Guthmiller in his single-engine Bonanza on his final leg home (16 hours from Kona to San Diego). [See my earlier posting on this project for more background.]
Separately, it looks as though my idea (in that original posting) of a record-breaking around-the-world trip in an airplane that can do the job effortlessly has been adopted. A 31-year-old woman named “Amelia Rose Earhart” took a Pilatus PC-12 NG and a co-pilot and, on July 11, 2014 became the “youngest female ever to circumnavigate the globe in a single-engine airplane.” (And perhaps the only one to do yoga in the back while on the trip.) Keep in mind that the “single engine” is a $1 million Canadian-built Pratt and Whitney turbine and that this pressurized airplane, fully equipped with autopilot and lavatory, can climb up to 30,000′, crack any ice off its wings, melt ice off the prop and windshields, etc. It is also a single-pilot aircraft and Earhart’s Web site says that her co-pilot had more than 4,500 hours of experience in the PC-12. I.e., the trip could have been done with her relaxing in the back for the entire time. See Wikipedia for more about the modern-day Amelia Earhart and the Pilatus factory site to learn more about the Swiss-made PC-12. Also check out the Wikipedia entry on Richarda Morrow-Tait, who flew around the world at age 25 in 1948 and had a little more fun with her navigator, apparently, than we typically have with our Garmins. It is unclear how to square Earhart’s claim about youngest female circumnavigator with Morrow-Tait’s documented achievement, especially when Morrow-Tait did the trip without another pilot on board.
[Separately, note that Pilatus is the company whose engineering and production prowess, combined with the superior efficiency of Swiss aviation regulators, put Beechcraft, founded in Kansas in 1932, into bankruptcy in 2012. The Beechcraft King Air could not compete with the PC-12. The Beechcraft military trainers could not compete with the Pilatus PC-7 , PC-9, and PC-21 (though Beech licensed the Swiss design and produced a plane called the “Texan II” for the U.S. military to buy at a substantial markup).]
Update: He made it! We need to give him a hero’s welcome when he returns to East Coast Aero Club.