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Ham Radio Aviator Set to Depart on Round-the-World Flight


[UPDATED: 2017-06-01@2024 UTC] Brian Lloyd, WB6RQN, took off from Miami, Florida, on June 1 on a solo, round-the-world flight to commemorate Amelia Earhart's attempt to circumnavigate the globe 80 years ago.

"Airborne!," he posted to his Facebook page, once aloft. "En route to St Thomas!"

Lloyd will be on the air from Spirit, his single-engine Mooney 231 aircraft, during the course of his journey, expected to take 2 months. He will follow Earhart’s historic route to fly around the globe at the equator, starting in Miami, skirting the Caribbean islands, then passing along the coast of South America before heading across the Atlantic.


“I am driven by the spirit of historic flights,” Lloyd said before leaving his Texas airstrip for Miami. “It is important to remember the aviation pioneers like Amelia Earhart and their contributions to aviation. Their bold actions made today’s air travel possible for all of us.”

In late May, severe weather on the Atlantic route and aircraft equipment problems forced Lloyd to call off his New York-to-Paris seed flight. “There was only a short window of time that the flight could have happened, and the window has now closed,” a May 22 announcement said.

Lloyd will be on the air using HF SSB on or about 14,210.0 kHz, 14,346.0 kHz, 18,117.5 kHz, or 7,130.0 kHz. Onboard he has a Mobat Micom-3 transceiver, which puts out about 125 W. His antenna is under the fuselage. He also will utilize ALE (automatic link establishment) on the Amateur Radio HFLINK frequencies.

“The flight route has some very long legs, so I will have plenty of opportunities during June and July to talk with ham operators while flying over the world’s oceans,” said Lloyd, 62, who has been licensed since 1976 but has been flying since 1968.

To give his 1979 Mooney aircraft additional range, he modified it to carry 150 gallons more fuel. He’s also equipped it with modern navigation equipment, long-range radio, and satellite communication gear. Since the flight involves some risk, special safety gear is part of his equipment ensemble.

In addition to being a pilot, Lloyd is a flight instructor and educator. He lives near San Antonio. His commemorative flight is co-sponsored by The Classic Aircraft Aviation Museum, a non-profit in Texas, and by individual contributions. 




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