- James Ketchell
- First first
- United Kingdom ()
On 22 September 2019, James Ketchell (UK) completed a 175-day flight around the world, having travelled some 44,450 km (27,620 miles; 24,000 nautical miles) in a Magni M16C autogyro. His open-cockpit aircraft has a top speed of 70 knots (129 km/h; 80 mph), around half that of the average helicopter.
Ketchell broke his journey into 122 separate flights, as his autogyro has a limited range of around 1,300 km (805 miles; 700 nautical miles). He started and finished his marathon journey at Popham Airfield near Basingstoke in Hampshire, UK.
Ketchell was nearly struck by lightning on one occasion, but revealed that his most frightening experience came when he was flying between Greenland and Iceland, over the Atlantic Ocean. Visibility had decreased to such an extent that he could barely see where he was going, and there was the distinct possibility that he would have to ditch into the Atlantic.
The record was also ratified by the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale as the fastest speed around the world eastbound in the E-3a rotorcraft/autogyros-under-500-kg class.