by Chuck Colbert
Last month, DJ Doran, the publisher of the Midwest’s largest circulation monthly LGBTQ newspaper, "The Word," launched a new venture called PrideFlight2018.
In the spring of 2018, Doran will attempt to become the first openly gay pilot to circumnavigate the globe on a goodwill mission supporting LGBT communities, groups, and organizations worldwide.
The project will be driven entirely through volunteer enthusiasm with the critical assistance of a Fundable campaign (http://www.fundable.com/prideflight2018), media partners, individual supporters, and an online store selling logo items.
Doran and his crew will be flying a WWII-era DC-3, fully restored to modern standards.
|The Word publisher DJ Doran in the plane he will|
use for PrideFlight2018
“I chose the DC-3 for its superior airframe and reliability,” said Doran. “The DC-3 revolutionized air transport in the 1930s and 1940s with its range of 1,500 miles. The airplane has long had a reputation of being rugged and reliable, which makes it the perfect plane for such a mission.”
The plane will be transported from Mexico to California, where it will undergo the first phase of restoration and remain for the winter before making its way to Indianapolis in the spring of 2016.
The mission will depart Indianapolis in the spring of 2018 with the first legs stopping in New Orleans, Key West, New York, and Goose Bay (Newfoundland, Canada) before braving the dangerous flight across the North Atlantic to Glasgow via Greenland and Iceland. The total journey will be more than 15,000 miles.
PrideFlight2018 will require two years of planning to arrange financing, coordinate international aviation requirements, secure landing rights and specialized flight training, and ensure other mission needs are met.
“This is a goodwill flight supporting LGBTQ communities, organizations and groups worldwide and not a race,” said Doran. “We want to have the flexibility to be able to help where and when we can during this journey, especially since we have such a great resource to use in the DC-3, and that is what will make this circumnavigation so different.”
In addition to modern avionics, the crew will transmit live images from five cameras on board, located on the wings, fuselage and in the cockpit, and will post updates on the PrideFlight2018 blog, prideflight2018.com.
Besides "The Word" (thegayword.com), based in Indianapolis, Doran is also publisher of Gaycation Magazine (gaycationmagazine.com) and Rainbow Tourism (rainbowtourism.com).
Doran is an experienced aviator, which includes a tour in the US Air Force.
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