New World Speed Record!
Leadville, CO to Death Valley, CA
North America’s Highest Airport to its Lowest
In the media:
More about the flight
DENVER – On June 1, 2019, Colorado pilot Kent Holsinger broke the world speed record for the fastest flight time in category between the highest airport in North America and the lowest. He traveled approximately 528 miles from Lake County Airport in Leadville, Colo. (FAA Identifier KLXV, elev. 9933.5 ft.) to Furnace Creek Airport (FAA Identifier L06, elev. -210) in Death Valley, Calif in approximately three hours and 13 minutes.
During the flight, winds, snow showers, equipment issues and trouble connecting with air traffic control threatened to spoil the record attempt. Due to poor radar coverage, Holsinger established contact with air traffic control over Death Valley with less than a minute to spare. He had to climb to 17,500 feet before a solid connection was established. Descending to land at 210 feet below sea level took 20 minutes.
The existing record of 147.54 mph (average speed) was set on June 27, 1995. Holsinger beat the record by nearly 30 minutes in a Lancair Super ES airplane powered by a 310 hp piston engine. His speed was approximately 164 mph.
“In addition to the flight, I’d like to raise awareness on the importance of our natural resources,” said Holsinger. The route took him over or near some 17 wilderness areas, five national forests, three national parks, two national recreation areas, two Indian reservations, one national wildlife refuge and five state parks. “These natural resources are vital for jobs, communities, the economy and our nation,” he remarked. Here is an interactive map of the route with notable natural resources and features highlighted along the way: https://www.google.com/maps/d/edit?mid=1pX_zdSoJk9S1XEMOjqxubgLctJ3i0BGp&ll=43.61533755472706%2C-108.21039604481183&z=5
Holsinger’s attempt was been sanctioned by the National Aeronautic Association (NAA). The NAA is dedicated to the advancement of the “art, sport and science of aviation in the United States.” Founded in 1905, the association is a member of the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI). Those two organizations will be reviewing documentation of the flight for certification of the official national and world records.
“I use the airplane frequently in our law practice at Holsinger Law, LLC, a boutique natural resources firm with an emphasis on lands, wildlife and water law. With this flight, I intend to celebrate not only the natural beauty of our western landscape, but the importance of the natural resources that are critical to our food, fiber, energy and light” added Holsinger. “Thanks to the best technology and the toughest environmental laws in the world, we can celebrate not only the beauty and history of these lands but the resources they produce.”
Several federal and state officials and trade associations familiar with Holsinger and his legal team have made statements about the and the natural resources along the route. Their comments are included on an attachment.
“My sincerest thanks for all the support from so many friends and colleagues,” said Holsinger. “The outpouring of support as well as help identifying notable facts about the route was truly humbling,” he added.
About Kent Holsinger
A Colorado native, Holsinger grew up on his family’s ranch in Colorado’s North Park. He earned his B.S. at the University of Colorado and his J.D. from the University of Denver. In 2006, he founded Holsinger Law, LLC, a firm that specializes in lands, wildlife and water law. He is a former congressional aide and served as Assistant Director for Water at Colorado’s Department of Natural Resources. Holsinger has been recognized by the Denver Business Journal (DBJ) for in Who’s Who in Energy in Colorado, by the DBJ and Colorado Farm Bureau for Who’s Who in Agriculture in Colorado, and as one of 5280’s Top Lawyers in Agricultural and Rural Law. He is the founder of Holsinger Law LLC in Denver.
Holsinger fulfilled his lifelong dream to become a pilot in 2009. Based out of Centennial Airport (FAA Identifier APA), he has logged over 1,000 flight hours in all corners of Colorado, 15 states, and one foreign country.
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