Two British pilots have completed what they believe to be is a new world record for the most countries visited by a fixed-wing aircraft in 24 hours. Mike Roberts and Nicholas Rogers are awaiting verification from the Guinness World Records that their June 25 flight to 16 countries in 24 hours tops the record of 11 countries set by James van der Hoorn and Iain Macleod in 2010.
The duo set off in their 2008 Piper Malibu at 3:30 a.m. local time from Denmark’s Roskilde Airport near Copenhagen with stops in Sweden, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Slovenia, Italy, Austria, Switzerland, Germany, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Belgium, and France. “We chose to contact several airports in each country so we could build an optimum route based on who could accommodate us and what facilities were available,” said Rogers, a Boeing 737 captain.
They covered a distance of more than 1,700 miles at an average cruise speed of 165 knots.
The pair also used the record attempt to raise awareness of the Save Wellesbourne Airfield campaign, which since 2015 has been under threat of closure by its landlords. “In doing this trip and taking in 16 countries, we wanted to demonstrate how accessible Europe can be served by general aviation aircraft—for business and leisure—and raise the awareness of the terrific standards many GA airfields offer,” said Roberts, owner of flying club and flight training school Take Flight Aviation at Wellsbourne in Warwickshire, England.