Fifty states, 19,400 miles, 40 days — that is Michael Combs’ dream, which will take flight at Salina Municipal Airport (SLN) in Kansas, April 5, at 7:30 a.m.
Combs plans to fly his Remos GX Light Sport Aircraft, dubbed “Hope One,” to 135 airports in all 50 states. Combs’ intention is to spread the message that “it is never too late to follow your dreams.” Along his way, he will speak on the topics of aviation, aircraft and following your dreams.
Combs and his wife, Michele will begin their journey in Salina, where they will fly their first leg to Columbia, Mo., making stops that day in Abilene, Topeka, and Kansas City.
Winds were blowing at 20 knots straight down the runway in Rogers, Ariz,. when Combs took off in Hope One for Salina March 31. The flight served as a test for his mission control team, and was the last cross-country trip before the take-off of the Flight for the Human Spirit.
After battling serious health issues, Combs, 53, thought his dream of flying was over. “I want to show people what you can do when you believe in your dreams,” he said. “We can all make excuses, can’t we? The question is, will you regret it? I would have if I had not strapped into the airplane and flew. As a kid I remember looking up at the clouds and just wanting to touch them. After my first introductory flight, I believe it is the absolute statement that anyone can accomplish whatever they want, if they only believe.”
Combs began to follow his dream when he was laid off of work in December 2008. He researched where he wanted to begin his journey and deemed Salina the perfect location.
Combs’ journey is funded through various sponsors, including, Remos aircraft, Bose Corp., and Remax Real Estate offices throughout the US.
He estimates that he will spend nearly $8,000 in fuel for his journey. His LSA burns around 5 gallons of fuel per hour. Made out of carbon fiber, the plane, which weighs 791 lbs., can reach speeds of nearly 153 mph, and travel up to 15,000 feet above sea level. To reach his last destination, Hawaii, Combs will load the LSA onto a ship or another aircraft to cross the ocean. The Remos aircraft’s wings can be folded for transportation.
For more information and to track the flight: ItsNeverEverTooLate.com