Moultrie Observer

Local News

February 14, 2011

Aviator recounts her record flight during visit here

MOULTRIE — A world-record pilot flew into Moultrie Saturday to share her story with the local Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA).

Carol Ann Garratt, of Worthington Springs, Fla., said she and her co-pilot, Carol Foy, set out in December 2008 to set a world record for flying around the world. The pair took off Dec. 2, 2008, in their J-Model Mooney airplane heading west, hoping to break the old world record of about 18 days that had stood since 1988.

When the flight was completed and they landed back in Orlando, Garratt said they returned in eight days, 12 hours, 18 minutes and 53 seconds, shattering the old record. It was actually her second around-the-world flight, and she has written two books about those flights, “Upon Silver Wings” and “Upon Silver Wings II.”

Garratt said she only made eight stops on the flight around the world, staying in the air for as long as 23 hours at a time. She made stops from Orlando to San Diego, Hawaii, Guam, Thailand, Oman, Djibouti, Burkina Faso and the Cape Verde Islands before returning to Orlando. They spent 158 hours in the air, including 81 hours flying at night, and 46 hours on the ground, including 18 hours sleeping in a hotel, during the flight.

The main purpose behind the Dash for a Cure flight, and her appearance with the EAA Chapter 1082 at Moultrie Municipal Airport, is to raise money and awareness for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) research, Garratt said. Garratt’s mother died of ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, and it is a terrible disease that brings no hope and no treatment for a patient. There has also been little progress in treatment of the disease.

“It’s been 70 years since Lou Gehrig retired,” Garratt said, “but we are no further along now than we were then. Once you’ve been touched by it, you really want to do something about it.”

Garratt said she hoped to raise $1 million for ALS research, but she has not yet reached that goal. She had raised $326,000 through sponsorships, donations and by selling her book and a DVD of her record-setting flight.

For more information about the flight, to order a book or to make a donation, visit Garratt’s Web site at www.alsworldflight.com. She will also be starting another flight around the world in April and will post updates on her Web site and on her Dash For A Cure Facebook and Twitter accounts.

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