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U.S.-Based Pilot Sets Guinness World Record

Makes Fastest Helicopter Solo Flight Throughout Lower 48 U.S. States

British-Thai pilot Yosuke Chatmaleerat recently claimed a Guinness World Record title for traveling through all 48 contiguous states of the U.S. in record time: under 12 days. Beginning in Tallahassee on Sept. 25, Chatmaleerat traveled the east coast to Maine before heading west, southwest, north and east to cross through the U.S. several times, returning to Miami on Oct. 7. Chatmaleerat planned the trip for months and flew by himself, with no assistance. Guinness has already officially confirmed Chatmaleerat's record.

"I'm thrilled and honored to receive this Guinness record," said Chatmaleerat. "I love challenging things and I cannot lie: this record has never been attempted by anyone; probably for a good reason, as it is a little bit crazy. But all we see in the news and movies about helicopters is negative: crashing, etc. There is so much more to helicopters than crashing. So I wanted to bring awareness to the helicopter-flying industry, especially during this difficult time in aviation, with a global shortage of pilots."

When asked about the biggest challenges of securing this Guinness record, Chatmaleerat said "There are lots of potential risks, but one of the most severe is rapidly changing weather, as well as dealing with all types of terrain and climates throughout the U.S. Each day almost had a theme I had to work through: day one, thunderstorms; day two, low ceiling and haze; day three, extreme head winds and turbulence; day four, mountain and high-altitude flying — and so on. Piloting requires great training, mental concentration and physical endurance; all skills I gained from being a gymnast. And there's also a mental-emotional maturity required for optimal safety, risk management and remaining calm under pressure; those skills I gained from classical pianist training. I am very fortunate to have many tools in my toolbox."

Chatmaleerat is currently studying in the U.S., as well as working on his musical career and his hopes of becoming an Olympic gymnast. Securing the Guinness record, as well as its impact on others, encourages him to continue his streak of success. And he hopes it will encourage others.

"Flying is just outrageously amazing! It takes many sacrifices, but I am sure many will decide to pursue this incredible career path, if only they had just tried it once. In the end, by achieving this record, I just wanted to inspire others to follow their dreams: whatever those dreams may be."

(Images provided with Yosuke Chatmaleerat news release)

FMI: www.facebook.com/yosuke.chatmaleerat


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