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Bob Harris



 
 
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  #1  
Old October 13th 18, 06:04 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
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Default Bob Harris

Bob Harris passed away on Oct 6, 2018. He was 86 years old.
Bob set the world gliding altitude record on Feb. 17, 1986 with a flight to 49,009 feet out of California City. This was the culmination of a sustained and extensive effort that had started 6 years earlier, first with a partner and later solo.
This flight still holds the U.S. single-place absolute altitude record, more than 32 years later.
Subsequent to his record flight, Bob donated his Twin Astir to the National Air and Space Museum where it hangs today in the Udvar-Hazy Center.
Bob encouraged and supported the wave flights of many others and served as SSA Region 12 Director for a time.
He also enjoyed long-distance bike rides. He peddeled from Huntington Beach, California to Norfolk, Virginia when he was 72 years old.
Bob’s passion for life, and for soaring, sets a fine example for all of us.
Mike Koerner
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  #2  
Old October 13th 18, 08:14 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Matt Herron Jr.
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Default Bob Harris

On Saturday, October 13, 2018 at 10:04:43 AM UTC-7, wrote:
Bob Harris passed away on Oct 6, 2018. He was 86 years old.
Bob set the world gliding altitude record on Feb. 17, 1986 with a flight to 49,009 feet out of California City. This was the culmination of a sustained and extensive effort that had started 6 years earlier, first with a partner and later solo.
This flight still holds the U.S. single-place absolute altitude record, more than 32 years later.
Subsequent to his record flight, Bob donated his Twin Astir to the National Air and Space Museum where it hangs today in the Udvar-Hazy Center.
Bob encouraged and supported the wave flights of many others and served as SSA Region 12 Director for a time.
He also enjoyed long-distance bike rides. He peddeled from Huntington Beach, California to Norfolk, Virginia when he was 72 years old.
Bob’s passion for life, and for soaring, sets a fine example for all of us.
Mike Koerner


Google says thats 2900 miles on a bike! and at 72!
  #3  
Old October 13th 18, 10:27 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Charlie M. (UH & 002 owner/pilot)
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Default Bob Harris

I didn't know him, but great achievements, condolences to his family and friends,
Thanks for the info.
  #4  
Old October 14th 18, 05:10 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
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Default Bob Harris

If I remember his story correctly, he kept his Grob in a constant state of readiness for five years. Every day he checked with Meteorologist looking for the best possible conditions for wave flights. The morning of his record setting flight he had promised his wife that he would go with her to pick up a dog. Before they left she asked him what the weather forecast was. He told her that they had the best parameters since starting the project. She told him to go ahead and fly...and fly he did.

I never met the man but have a great deal of admiration for him, for his dedication and his achievement. He did it without big corporate sponsorship, without pressure suits from NASA or a specially designed sailplane. He did the best he could with what he had to work with. I doubt anyone will ever beat his record. Bob Harris had the “Right Stuff” and is still on top of the pyramid.
  #5  
Old October 14th 18, 05:51 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Duster[_2_]
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Default Bob Harris

Thanks for the announcement. Assuming his family doesn't read RAS, condolences to the family can better reach them he (Also a short bio.)

https://www.legacy.com/obituaries/pe...&pid=190447628
  #6  
Old October 14th 18, 06:06 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Duster[_2_]
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Default Bob Harris


Thanks for the announcement. The Assuming his family doesn't read RAS, condolences to the family can better reach them he (Also a short bio.)
https://www.legacy.com/obituaries/pe...&pid=190447628

....... and according to an article on his record flight in Soaring Magazine Feb 1988 the dog's name was "lennie". If there's a first-person account of it, maybe someone could post it?
  #7  
Old October 17th 18, 03:55 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
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Default Bob Harris

Apparently he passed through my club airfield on a cycling trip once - unfortunately that was years before I started flying so I never got to meet him.. Reading the relevant back issues of Soaring I found the story of the record fascinating. I was also stunned by how much flak he drew in the letters section following it from some of his fellow pilots.

It's true he set the record without pressure suits, pressurization or sponsorship but that's because that magnificent flight of his set the record pretty much as high as it could be set without access to those things!
 




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