DETROIT (FOX 2) - A Michigan pilot broke a 38-year world record by flying from New York City to Paris in a little more than 8 and a half hours - beating one of the most famous world records of all time by over an hour.
Phil Bozek, 31, is the new world record holder. He broke the record - set by the first man who ever broke the sound barrier, Chuck Yeager - thanks to careful planning.
"One of my really good friends...he calls me at 4 o'clock in the morning one morning and wakes me up and says 'there's this world record - New York to Paris - it was done by Charles Lindberg orignally and then Chuck Yeager, you wanna do it?' Sure, why not?" Bozek said.
The Brighton man planned the flight for a full year and made adjustments to the plane to carry extra fuel needed to complete the flight. This isn't exactly a Boeing they were in, either.
"Imagine a telephone booth, sideways. Two guys are in it. We're in neoprene survival suits. We're strapped in. We can't move. We have a 300 gallon fuel tank behind us and we are literally in our seats for the entire duration of the flight," he said.
Just two hours after midnight, Bozek and his co-pilot, Dierk Reuter, left New York City for Paris. They landed at 2:38 p.m. Paris time. The record was 8 hours, 36 minutes, beating Yeager's record which was 9 hours and 42 minutes.
How did they do it? Aside from the very tight quarters, the two developed their own weather software to catch the jet stream at just the right speed.
"At first we weren't sure if we were gonna make it or not. All the flight planning, we had to literally follow a custom flight path, that we created, using weather tracking software that we developed, just to see if it would even work - to do this whole flight. And it wasn't until halfway across the Atlantic we thought we might just do this," Bozek said.
The logistics of the flight were immense as the two had to comunicate with six countries along the way.
How fast can this thing fly? You can get to Traverse City and back in 50 minutes. That's round trip - less than an hour.
Derek Kevra went up with Bozek in the plane that set the record, flying at over 400 MPH.
But Bozek isn't done.
"We're gonna go around the world in 72 hours," Bozek said. "Yes that would be a record"