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Pilot tops world record for airport landings but misses goal of 110 landings

John Thompson • Updated Sep 12, 2019 at 10:33 PM

ELIZABETHTON — Local pilot Dan Moore missed his goal of 110 airport landings in 24 hours Wednesday, but he earned quite a consolation prize: a place in the Guinness Book of World Records.

Moore was trying to set the record at 110 landings as a tribute to the victims of the World Trade Center attack on Sept. 11, 2001. That was also the reason he chose to make the attempt Wednesday, the anniversary of the attack.

Moore said his supporters were still counting all the landings he made, but the final count is probably 91 or 92. The old record is 87.

Moore said his record is unofficial until Guinness checks his documentation and certifies the attempt. In order to meet the strict requirements, Moore had to come to a complete stop at each landing. He then had to take two photographs and take GPS readings.

He was able to keep up with all this data from 92 airports because his wife, Melanie, was using their computer to track and store all the information from his flight.

Moore is pleased to have captured the unofficial world record, even if he did not reach his goal of 110 landings.

“You have to set your goals high and try to reach them, Moore said.

It wasn’t lack of preparation that caused Moore to fall short of his goal. He was prepared for unexpected traffic, or unexpected problems at some of the airports. He was prepared to overcome expected thunderstorms at some of the airports.

What he had not anticipated was a record-breaking heat wave.

The heat wave reset the high temperature for this date in the Tri-Cities, tasing the mark from 91 to 93.

His flight plan called for him to fly through Mississippi and Alabama at the middle of the day, when temperatures reached three digits. It was a very hot flight.

But Moore said the real thing that held down his total was an unusual 20 mph headwind. He said that slowed his progress, causing him to reach his final landing at Elizabethton after midnight, about two hours later than planned. 

But even the heat and wind were not enough to keep Moore out of the Guinness Book of World Records.