Perlan 2 Update: 52,172’ World Record Claim
KEYNOTE SPEAKER at OSTIV BANQUET
Jim Payne started soaring at the Air Force Academy in 1971. He graduated from the Academy as the Class of 1974 Outstanding Cadet in Soaring. During over 6,300 hours of soaring, he has earned a Gold Badge with 3 Diamonds, a 1,000 km Diploma, a Triple Lennie Pin, a World Distance Award, 14 World and over 90 national records. Known as “Jet Pilot” in the racing community, he was the Gold Medalist in the 1995, 1996, and 2009 SSA Distance Award competition. He won the 1996/1997 Hilton Cup and was the 1999 US National Open Class Soaring Champion. Jim has won six OLC World Championships (distance) and eight Speed OLC World Championships.
JP was the U.S. Team Manager 5 times and was an Open Class pilot at the 2001 World Championships in South Africa. His longest flight is a 2,907 km (1,806 sm) OLC flight. Jim holds the fastest US record of 305 kph (189 mph) over a 300 km Out & Return. He was awarded the 2001 Lilienthal Medal winner (highest award given by the FAI for gliding) and is a member of the U.S. Soaring Hall of Fame. Jim is retired from the Air Force where he was an F-16 test pilot and from Northrop Grumman where he managed Global Hawk flight test and was a test pilot on the Firebird.