Outstanding Flight from Klaus Ohlmann - 2463 km 
26.11.2000 

Pilot report, 26.11.,  Klaus Ohlmann, 

Take off in San Martin de los Andes around 6:30 am, a little late. We’ve planned a world record attempt of 1700km to the South. The conditions regarding updrafts turn out to be extremely  favorable. Unfortunately, after about 500 km the weather deteriorates dramatically. We abandon our task in favor of a free flight around three turnpoints. The present world record in this category stands at 2045km, flown by New Zealander Terry Delore. At 1:15pm we’re back over San Martin, having covered 1050km already. Towards the North the weather looks somewhat uncertain, lots of clouds due to the approaching cold front. It seems that a deviation toward the leeside would be possible. After a long glide we catch lift right over Zapala under a line of rotors. This proves to be the stepping stone for the wave system reaching form the Valley of Loncopue  to the Cordillere del Viento. From there we continue in the Lee of the Divide/main ridge via the Barrancas Valley and the Rio Grande, always above 5000m. Around 4pm we turn back south. If we’ll make it home, we will have beaten the world record.
With 120km to go we decide to use the extraordinary conditions in the North for another leg rather than fight the bad weather back to San Martin. A wise decision, as we learn that a brasilian DG500 takes forever to make it back. Rarely dips the groundspeed below the 250km/h mark as we race north. The most thrilling moment was yet to come: we needed to decide whether to turn as far north as possible and then head back to Chos Malal for landing  - giving away a lot of kilometers  - or gamble on the tailwind and try to make it to Malargue, the only useful landing site this late in the day and run the risk of getting there too late. Too late, that is more than 20 minutes past sunset, at which point the world record would be invalid, as the landing would be, strictly speaking, illegal. At 20:10, with sunset at 20:34, to decide to fly another 180km in 44 minutes would be a truly gutsy move. Our actual groundspeed of 300km/h pushes me towards the all or nothing. With two minutes to go our miracle bird touches down in Malrgue after 14hours and 20 minutes and we feel the icy gusts rushing down from the Andes.
 
 

Flight-Track
 
 

 
Satpicture 26.11.2000 -15 Z Wx-chart 26.11. - 18 Z Windforecast (FL170) + orogr. Turbulence. -12Z