Record Flight Report
Rafael Saladini writes:
Flight report of the breakdown of the world record goal declared
in a straight line, by Rafael Saladini:
October 15 - We've been here for 20 days, every day declaring the same goal, and
we've had just two waves with favorable wind and enough humidity. Tacima is
always a mental challenge.
At 06 pm I was towed to 400 m AGL at our ′′ airport ′′ near Tacima - minimum
altitude to reach the relief, 2 km backwards, where the ramp we took off in the
As the prediction wasn't so good, I've decollected with two main goals:
recording some images with chase cam and checking a takeoff track in Lagoa Nova.
After a little lift, at 7 am I started my journey through the atmosphere.
Before arriving in Lagoon Nova, I had to make a pendulum to get the camera and
avoid surprises in case of a strong landing. Cut the line and kept it in the
When I reached the Lagoon Nova track I was at 250 m AGL and already looking for
a place to land. But life sometimes gives us surprises. A strong cycle pulled me
off the ground and led straight to cloud base, and after that my mindset
completely changed. I decided to fly as much as I could and finally try to break
the declared goal record.
Since 2007, after my South American record of 397 km, I had never flown alone
again. Group flight is my favorite way to explore the wilderness. Sharing the
heavens and world records with my friends are among the best experiences I've
ever had in my life. But this time I decided to do it different. Fly alone
again, for all day. Meditate in deep silence for more than 11 hours. A pure
connection to the pulse of the atmosphere, when nothing else matters, just the
present moment and the next thermal.
The condition was far from good, with moderate wind and few clouds. The only way
to make up for it was full speed and aggressive attitude, exposing myself to the
risk of landing much more early than when we fly as a team. This worked until 3
pm. Then the sky turned blue and it became very difficult to fly fast and
At the end of the afternoon I was tired, and that's when team flight makes the
difference. Especially when the sky is blue. I've made some mistakes in the last
two hours that have cost me some precious kilometers, but I've managed to break
the world record for goal declared in a straight line, declaring and flying 530
km and reaching the final distance of 555 km, landing on a dirt road in the
heart of Ceará. The current record belongs to Guy Anderson and Harry Bloxham,
with 510.8 km flown in 2019. Let's see if the FAI will ratify.
Surely this was the best experience I've ever had flying solo in my entire life.
I'm in ecstasy.
I keep thinking that 555 km is the third longest flight in the history of
Parapent. The current world record is 582 km (towed takeoff) and the second
longest flight was 564 km (natural takeoff), both of our team. I am very very
very grateful and honored to be part of all of them.