Missourians living along a line from St. Joseph to St. Louis might have seen some aviation history made on Independence Day if they had looked up at the right time.
Air Force veteran Brian Kissinger of St. Louis, a two-time brain cancer survivor, decided to do something to honor veterans and to call attention to the problems of homelessness among them by setting a new flight speed record over a recognized course….
He did it with a two-hour-plus flight from St. Joseph to St. Louis in a 1,100-pound Sonnerai airplane, which is less than 20-feet long with a wingspan of less than 20 feet, powered by a Volkswagen engine. He did it to publicize the problem of homelessness among veterans. He says one in four veterans is homeless. “Homeless and veterans are two words that shouldn’t go together,” he says.
The FAA limits planes as small as his to a top speed of about 138 miles an hour. He says he had to slow down to keep from exceeding that limit and invalidating the record. The record will have to be validated by the Federation Aeronautique Internationale and the National Aeronautic Association will certify his flight as a record.
Kissinger says the flight was to give hope, part of his personal motto to Love God and help people.” The Joseph Center, a veterans’ center in East St. Louis, got the financial benefits of the flight.