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Airplane on round-the-world flight makes stop in Hawaii

Mike Blyth and James Pitman taxi out onto the runway at Torrance Municipal airfield to start their flight to Hawaii.

By Baron Sekiya/

Mike Blyth and James Pitman, owners of The Airplane Factory, are making Hawaii the next stop on their around-the-world flight. They originally planed flying to Hilo but will now land in Kahului, Maui.

The pilots flew their production prototype Sling aircraft from Johannesburg, South Africa, to the Oshkosh Airventure Airshow, Wisconsin USA, in July. They are returning to Johannesburg by continuing to fly west, circumnavigating the globe en route. The journey is planned to take place over approximately one month, commencing on 18 July and returning on 22 August 2009.

Blyth and Pitman have left Los Angeles (Torrance Municipal airfield) Thursday (Aug 6) evening and are on their way to Hawaii. The flight from Los Angeles to Hawaii is 2,454 miles and is expected to take nearly 21 hours.

The longest leg of the journey so far has been a 21 hour, 2,513 mile flight from Conakry, Guinea to Brazil. The single engine aircraft has a wingspan of 30 feet, a 100hp engine and has been modified to carry 118 gallons of fuel.

Update: Mike Blyth and James Pitman arrived safely in Kahului, Maui after flying a distance of approximately 2,477 miles in 21½ hours from Los Angeles.

Blyth and Pitman sent a message out before landing:

We decided in flight to change our destination to Maui instead of Hilo once we knew we could make it because we will have friends meet us.

The first part of the flight was stressful because we took off in the dark for the first time and then fought 20 knot headwinds for the first 7 hours and only found the tailwinds after halfway accross. Total time 21.4 hrs and still have 3 hrs fuel left because we flew carefully being worried about going for a swim. Tired but smiling. Going in for a landing.

You can find more information about their round-the-world flight at:


2 Responses to “Airplane on round-the-world flight makes stop in Hawaii”

  1. Earlier today we informed you of our two bosses who are flying around the world in their light sports aircraft ( . Their planned route was Los Angeles to Hilo. We have now been informed that they have changed their route slightly and will most likely be heading for Kahului, Maui, instead.

    Our apologies, as we were not informed that they might make this change once they felt their progress had been good enough towards Hawaii.

    The Airplane Factory Team

  2. Sheralyn says:

    Wow! What an amazing journey that must be!

    Having been to both Hilo on the the island of Hawaii and Kahului in Maui, I have to say that I think Maui is the best of the 2 islands for sure! Hopefully they had a chance to check out Maui for a bit!

    Good luck with the rest of the flight!


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