Man Seeking Record Starts Sun-Powered Flight Across U.S.

A Lake Elsinore man hoping to become the first person to fly across the United States using only solar power set off on his journey from this eastern Riverside County.

After two aborted takeoffs, Eric Raymond, 33, caught the thermal winds he needed to reach an optimal soaring altitude and then headed due east from Desert Center about 11:30 a.m., the pilot's spokesman, Jack Whitehouse, said.

Raymond hoped to travel 206 miles in his homemade craft, the Sun-Seeker, and land in Carefree, Ariz., 20 miles north of Phoenix, Whitehouse said.

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