15 Mar 2019
Canadian pilots, Ruben Dias and Mischa Gelb circumnavigated the globe, in an R66, setting two new world records. Their journey began and ended in Whistler, Canada. Starting on May 1st and ending on August 5th (97 days) the pair flew 37,385.02 miles (60,165.36 kilometers) through 45 countries, the longest distance (in a single journey) by helicopter, thus setting the longest RTW on Heli World Record. The second record, fastest antipode RTW on Heli World Record was set when they touched down in Neiva, Colombia (western hemisphere) then Palemban, Indonesia (eastern hemisphere) - two cities that are diametrically opposite each other.
Ruben is a fixed wing and helicopter pilot and Mischa Gelb is a CFI with 8000 hours in helicopters. The helicopter is owned by Ruben’s company, EPIC World Tour Inc. EPIC stands for Empowering People and Inspiring Change. According to Ruben, the R66 was the ideal helicopter for this kind of adventure. It has plenty of power, is economical to operate, and Jet-A fuel is readily available around the world. Even in extreme weather conditions including severe turbulence (in Alaska), the R66’s performance exceeded expectations.