Scott Barett, of Lismore, hangglided 500kn to a declared location to break a national Australian record.
Scott Barett, of Lismore, hangglided 500kn to a declared location to break a national Australian record. Marc Stapelberg

AMAZING VIDEO: Lismore pilot's 500km flight smashes record

A LISMORE man has smashed the Australian hang gliding record for the distance to a declared goal.

The record flight was a 500km, 10 hour flight in an unpowered hang glider and it breaks the latest record by more than 150km.

On Saturday, December 8 hang glider pilot Scott Barrett made the record flight by towing-up behind an ultralight aircraft at 2000ft above the Dalby airport.

Flying from the Dalby Hang Gliding Club, in the Darling Downs, the flight went through outback Queensland, ending a pre-determined field at Charleville.

Three pilots flew independently on the day, Viv Clements of Brisbane making a 400km flight, Michael Jackson of Brisbane also made a great unprecedented flight to the same declared goal at Charleville, but with a different start point making his course just a little shorter.

"It is my most memorable experience," Mr Barrett said.

"I was never following any roads, just looking where I needed to find the next rising air, or plotting a course to get past forests and maintaining a focus on getting to goal safely."

To reach the goal, Mr Barrett had a lot of water, oxygen and survival equipment for the flight, he said.

"I was carrying CB and airband radios, a spot tracker, EPIRB, parachutes, food, blankets and other essentials.

"I had steered a hang glider around for 10 hours, but it had also taken a year of waiting for the right weather and I was happy and tired.

"I enjoyed going and flying the record, and the terrain that I flew over I will always remember, it is really spectacular.

"Watching the sunset from just under a 10,000 ft cloud base late in the day and gliding the last 40km to goal was a special moment. An Australian record was awaiting me and I had time to enjoy just being there alone in the air."

He said the record is administered by the Federation Aviation International (FAI_- a French world wide body that administers all aviation records.

The next flying Mr Barrett will do will be at home on the North Coast, in bare feet, shorts and T-shirt, enjoying a day flying around on the sand dunes at his local beach.

"I love making flights from the local mountains, I recently flew from Byron Bay and climbed in my hang glider up and over Mt Warning," he said.

"I often fly back to my house just for convenience.

"It is a really rewarding challenge to use the awesome power of the moving air to get you around to the places you want to go.

"It is a passion like some people have for sailing, but hang gliding is in three dimensions and the views are better by far. It is a fantastic way to enjoy nature."

He said hang gliders have become a very safe and fun aircraft, it takes a week to achieve a pilot certificate and you can participate in it from flatlands, from mountains, coastal hills or sand dunes."

Find out more at the Hang Gliding Federation of Australia Website

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