Delta Pilots Fly to 48 States in 48 Hours

by Anthony Losanno
48n48 Group

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Delta Captains Barry Behnfeldt and Aaron Wilson have completed what they hope will set a Guinness World Record. The pair flew to 48 states within 48 hours in a six-seat 1980 PA32R Piper Saratoga. They’re now just waiting on their accomplishment to be verified.

48n48 Guinness

The pilots needed to fly through all 48 contiguous states, landing at a public airport in each one, to officially document that they were there. Timing would begin when the plane took off in the first state and end when the final flight landed.

48n48 Signing

To round out the crew needed for these flights, Barry asked Thomas Twiddy, who owns a certified FAA 145 repair station, to be their in-flight technician. The three then began charting their flight path to get from Michigan to Maine with 47 stops at each state in between. They ensured someone would be at each airport to verify their presence (this could be challenging with middle-of-the-night stops). And, on June 4th they were off. A crowd of friends and family cheered them on as the plane departed Berrien Springs, MN.

Barry brought 48N48 t-shirts to hand out to people along the way. People cheered them as they made their stops with several surprises along the way. Around 50 people showed up in Coffeyville, KS to see the crew and get inspired. Barry hopes some will be the next generation of pilots. An illuminated 48 on the side of a hangar greeted them in Wayne Municipal Airport in Nevada. At Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) under the wing of an Airbus A321 was Delta Chief of Operations, John Laughter along with other Delta employees eager to wish them well.

48n48 Adam

One of the coolest moments came in Maryland. Adam Kisielewski, a combat-wounded veteran and member of the Veterans Airlift Command (VAC) advisory board, met the crew and brought them lunch. Aside from promoting general aviation and inspiring the next generation of pilots, the trio wanted to raise money for the Veterans Airlift Command. The organization provides free, private air transportation to our nation’s combat injured veterans for medical or other compassionate purposes. The trio raised $30,048.


The crew returned to Henry County Airport with lots of support. They also had a little fun on their trip back home, spelling 48N48 in the sky with the plane.

For more information about the mission and to donate, visit the 48N48 website.

Anthony’s Take: What a fun mission and it’s great that they raised over $30,000 for a worthy organization along the way. Kudos to these three and hopefully their record gets verified soon.

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