Record Setting British Pilot Receives Highly Prestigious Scott-Farnie Award at St James' Palace, London Reception
Steve Wood, who recently set the greatest number of FAI World Records in British aviation history, has been honoured by The Air League being awarded their Scott-Farnie medal for 2008. Wood joins other notable world class aviators - Steve Fossett, Sir Richard Branson and the moon landing astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins - as a recipient of an Air League award.
Wood, from Harrogate, North Yokshire, was unanimously selected by The Air League Council to be 2008 winner of the highly prestigious award.
The award is made by The Air League for “the most meritorious work in the field of air education.” Wood received the award for his very active involvement with Flying for the Disabled in the United States. Established in 1969, the award is in memory of G R Scott-Farnie. In 39 years the award has been made just 16 times. The Royal Aeronautical Society took the award in 2007.
Wood said “I’m very honoured to have been selected for this special award and to join other notable aviators like Steve Fossett, Sir Richard Branson and the ‘moon landing’ astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins who have received awards from The Air League.”
To promote the charities Flying Scholarships for the Disabled and Able Flight in North America, Wood flew a record setting ‘Four Corners America Flight' in 2007 flying the equivalent distance of almost halfway around the world in just 7 days. Official timings showed he set a staggering 157 ‘city to city’ speed records during the flight. Wood claimed the most significant international records as 30 British National Records and 26 FAI ‘speed over a recognised course’ World Records. Wood’s world records included two transcontinental records - Vancouver, Canada to Bangor, USA and Seattle, USA to Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Wood explained “the flying was challenging enough, but to complete the paperwork trail of multiple start and finish certificates was a monumental task. Many other pilots have provisionally set world records but these have not been ratified as they could not get the essential timing certificates in the allowed timescale."
In 2006, just seven hours into what he hoped would be a record setting round the world flight, the engine in Wood's aircraft exploded in mid-air when flying over mountainous forests. Wood crashed landed his homebuilt plane near Portsmouth, Ohio, USA. The airplane, affectionately known as ’GOOFY’ from its special registration N-600FY, survived undamaged to fly again this time with a totally different engine.
“For me, 2007 was a spectacular year, not at all like the disaster of 2006,” Wood commented. “I’m immensely proud to have set the greatest number of aviation world records of any British pilot in aviation history flying an airplane I built myself, and all in a single year.”
Wood flew 5 record setting international flights between May 2007 and April 2008 involving the USA, Canada and The Bahamas during which he set 227 aviation records. From these he claimed the most significant international records as 85 British National Records and 78 FAI World Speed Records. These included the shortest ever ‘city to city’ world speed record from Windsor, Canada to Detroit, USA - just 0.26 miles. Two transcontinental records were also set - from Vancouver, Canada to Bangor, USA and from Seattle, USA to Halifax, Nova Scotia.
A British National Record must be awarded before a FAI (Federation International Aeronautique) World Record can be claimed.
Wood has set the most FAI World Records in British aviation history (the previous ‘top score’ was 47 FAI world records by the legendary Sheila Scott who set over 100 aviation records between 1965 and 1972), and all Wood’s records were set in a single year (the previous ‘single year’ total was 27 world records set by T W Hayhow in 1952). He has flown two 'Four Corners America Flights' – in 2005 & 2007 – in 2007 he became the first British pilot to be officially recorded by The Royal Aero Club as flying around the 'four corners' of mainland America.
See websites: www.worldrecordpilot.org - www.fourcornersflight.org - www.600fy.com - www.toreachforthesky.org.uk - www.ableflight.org
Contact: Steve Wood, 55 Plantation Road, Harrogate, HG2 0BD - Tel: 01423 509777 / 0775 287 4205