Kent State Professor Completes Historic Flight
School of Journalism and Mass Communication Associate Professor Joe Murray, Ph.D., and flying partner Ron Siwik grounded their planes after nine days of soaring nearly 2,000 miles across Ohio in vintage aircrafts with no electricity.
Attempting to set a world record, Murray and Siwik took off and landed in all 88 counties in Ohio. Recordsetter.com is currently reviewing the data to verify whether they accomplished the goal in the fastest recorded time. Their total flight time was 36 hours and six minutes, and they flew a total of 1,809 miles.
"What I didn't expect was the interest from the communities, the people who came out to the airport to shake our hands and see us. You know, they'd buy us a tank of gas, make a meal for us, put us up overnight, hangar our airplane," Murray says in a WEWS news report.
The pilots have raised about $3,000 towards a scholarship established by Murray at Kent State University to help disadvantaged students attend the school.
"But I've got to tell you, the people who donated gave from the heart, and that really meant a lot to me. I had farmers walk up to me and stick dollars in my pocket and say ‘give it to the kids.’ I had a student put $100 in my envelope and leave it on my seat. I knew she couldn't afford that, so the people who donated truly donated from the heart, and that meant a lot," Murray says.
Read more about why Murray embarked on the historic flight.
To learn more about Murray’s flight experience or to give to support the scholarship, visit the Lost in Oscar Hotel blog.