Route and Tracking
cwl reflex copper web

GlobeGraphic 390pxThe crew on this extraordinary venture will fly over 20,000 miles (17,000 nautical), landing at some 50 airports in 20 different countries. Dave and Bob will fly from Kelowna Airport to San Diego to rendezvous with Russ and Harold who will arrive from Windsor. The two aircraft will then circumnavigate Latin America and the Caribbean Sea together, making North American landfall in Florida, where they will split and return to their originating airports.

The entire expedition will take 60 days. The demanding flying schedule has been broken into relatively short hops interspersed with breaks for sightseeing along the route. The RV aircraft do not have a long range (about 650 statute miles), so the flight plan calls for maximum legs of under four hours and 600 miles.

The crew will fly through winter weather in North America and move into summer as they proceed into South America. They will traverse the ITCZ (Intertropical Convergence Zone) twice as they cross the equator southbound and northbound. The route spans 105 degrees of latitude, from 50 degrees north to 55 degrees south.

Chile alone has a length of 38 degrees of latitude, some 2600 statute miles, and seven distinct climactic zones. The Atacama Desert in the north of Chile is the driest place on earth. Some weather stations on that desert have never received any rain, and there is evidence to suggest that the Atacama may not have had any significant rainfall from 1570 to 1971. (We don’t know who was taking those notes, but are happy it was not us – Ed).

After flying the length of the continent southward down the west coast, the crew will turn and fly north up the east side. One of the pilots described the navigation methodology in its most simple terms as: “Keep the blue part on the right and the brown part on the left.” It will be more complicated than that, of course; each aircraft is outfitted with dual GPS and other navigation aids.

Give Hope Wings will continuously broadcast its position on via a satellite tracker which will update position, altitude, heading and groundspeed every ten minutes.