Many of you know of the recent death of Hans Vanderflugt of Refugio, Texas. At his service, it was said he had logged over 70,000 hours. I've found the threads on Ed Long of Alabama, with 64,000 hours in 1998. Does anyone know the current record, official or otherwise?
My Dad, Robert Ring recently passed away. Close friends of his mentioned that he had amassed over 83,000 flight hours in his life. He soloed at the age of 13, was a B24 Bomber pilot at age 20, a 35 year Caption for American Airlines and owed his own arplanes throughout his life. He was also the President of the UltralLight Chapter of the EAA. If this is true, is this a record?
The hours claimed by many do not represent a true record of flight time. I once flew with an airman who recorded his flight hours only once per month, rarely consulting flight authorization books or other documentation. I recall this non-pilot airman was once asked "How many of your hours are F4 hours", the inference being that his logbook contained a number of "phantom" hours. 83,000, 70,000 or 64,000 hours is extraordinary, many many more than I will ever accumulate.
One of the american GA magazines ran a feature on this about 10 years ago. They found 10 or so people with some extraordinary hours in their logbooks. The winner was a guy who started at 16 or so and flown in the war, the airlines and then continued on with a commercial licence into his eighties inspecting powerlines and instructing. He had 60K odd as I recall.
Second or third place was a female instructor who had instructed all her adult life and was also into her late 70s or early eighties. Instructing from her youth for 60 plus years at 900-1000 hrs a year.....
American pilot, John Edward Long, flew 62,654 hours from May 1933 to April 1977. Having accumulated more than the equivalent of 7 years airborne, Mr. Long holds the record of the most flying hours. Mr. Long soloed in 1933 after one hour and forty minutes of instruction in a Taylor E-2 Cub. During WWII, he served as an aircraft mechanic, but later worked as a flight instructor, charter and corporate pilot and performed power line patrol where he spent much of his time flying below 200 feet.
I stopped logging my flight time in a log book shortly after I passed 10,000 hours, however, I have copies of every flight log that I flew from that time that I kept for verification of my flight time.
Some day now that I'm retired, I'll get one of those electronic log books and put all the flights in it. Besides, the actual flight logs have more information than just a aircraft registration, date and departure and destination points written in a log book.