Irvine : Irvine Flier Fails to Set Distance Solo Record

Irvine resident Pete Wilkins failed in his attempt to fly nonstop to Australia from Los Angeles.

Wilkins, a 49-year-old native of Sydney, Australia, took off from Los Angeles International Airport early Saturday in an attempt to break the world long-distance record for solo flights from Los Angeles to Sydney.

According to Wilkins’ son, Paul, the aviator ran into high winds and a tropical storm over the Pacific and decided to land in Fiji early Sunday. He took off for Sydney again in his single-engine Piper Malibu Monday morning.

Wilkins plans to try again to break the world long-distance solo record on his return flight of 7,584-miles. The current record of 7,488 miles was set in 1955.


Wilkins will begin his return flight in about 10 days, his son said.