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A Lochaber pilot and a colleague have smashed the world record to visit as many American states as possible in 24 hours, extending the number from 23 to 29.
Douglas Cairns, from Invergloy, and Torborn Dahl, both pilots with type 1 diabetes, departed Sanford (Maine)at 7.49am Eastern Daylight Time on July 27 in a twin-engine Beech Baron aircraft.
Douglas, 55, and Torborn, 24, then zig-zagged their way down the US east coast as far as South Carolina, then westwards to Arkansas before heading north to Ohio and across Lake Michigan to finish at Albert Lea (Minnesota), just after 6am Central Daylight Time on July 28.
Storms over the mountains of the Virginias and South Carolina resulted in detours and threatened the landing in Western Virginia and forced the pilots to expedite their departure from Pennsylvania as a storm moved in towards the airfield.
This was followed by eight hours of night flying from Alabama to Iowa, with a full moon shining over the entire night-time route.
Total airborne time was 15.6 hours, with the remaining time spent taxying, stepping out of the twin-engine aircraft at each airfield for photographs and three refuelling stops.
At present, only eight countries around the world enable pilots with insulin-treated diabetes to fly.
Douglas and Torborn are both grounded military pilots due to type 1 diabetes – Douglas from the RAF and Torborn from Norwegian Air Force.
Both men believe that more countries need to update their regulations to allow pilots with insulin-treated diabetes to fly, which is why the 24-hour record flight was made.
A company called Dexcom, which produces continuous glucose monitors, sponsored the journey.
‘We want to show people what we can do when it comes to piloting with diabetes,’ Douglas said. ‘Diabetes need not limit the scope of peoples’ dreams and ambitions.’
Douglas Cairns, right, and Torborn Dahl, congratulate each other after breaking the record.
NO F32 diabetes fliers