MISSION: Commit 65 is a world flight endurance record attempt. Commit 65 is a 501c3nonprofit organization. The goal of Commit 65 is to create a national platform (the flight) fromwhich to launch an ongoing national awareness campaign about childhood sexual abuse. Thefounder, Matt Pipkin, and his dad, Chet, both pilots (Chet is a B-737 Captain for AmericanAirlines), will attempt to break the more than 50 year old world flight endurance record of 64days and 22 hours of totally nonstop flight. Because Matt was molested at age five and just begantalking about and overcoming it in the past two years, his goal is to use the platform of the flightto share his story and open the airwaves about childhood sexual abuse.
PURPOSE: One in three girls and one in six boys are sexually abused prior to the age ofeighteen. Nine out of ten keep their experiences secret, like Matt did, largely because theybelieve that it was their fault, and are weighed down by guilt, fear, and shame. Victims are afraidto talk, and oftentimes, those who have not been victims do not understand why victims keeptheir experiences secret. It is a very quiet problem that reaches every age and demographic. Thepurpose of Commit 65 is to be the launch of an awareness campaign that will continue on afterthe flight via other large-scale, high-exposure events.
HISTORY: In December of 1958, Robert Timm and John Cook took off in a Cessna 172 fromMcCarran International Airport in Las Vegas, Nevada, with hopes of breaking the latest of fourworld flight endurance flights – 50 days of nonstop flight. They landed in February of 1959 after64 days and 22 hours of nonstop flight. The Hacienda Hotel and Casino located on the Las VegasStrip sponsored the flight, displaying the casino’s name and logo on the exterior of the plane.The plane gained international attention and also served as a fundraiser for the Damon RunyonCancer Foundation.
The interior of the aircraft was stripped, leaving only the left pilot seat and left controls. A 95-pound Sorenson belly tank was installed, allowing 12-14 hours of time between refueling. Theaircraft was refueled via a hose from a sponsored truck and crew that drove at a matched speed onthe ground. Two lines were plumbed through the firewall, allowing in-flight oil/oil filter changes.Timm and Cook flew in four hour shifts. They landed after over two months in the air, due toloss of power in the engine; however, the engine had approximately 450 hours logged prior totakeoff. The world record aircraft now hangs from the ceiling in the Howard W. CannonAviation Museum located within McCarran International Airport.
THE FLIGHT: Commit 65 will be fashioned in much the same way as the Hacienda enduranceflight of 1959. A Cessna 172 or similar high-wing aircraft will likely be used. The aircraftmodifications will be very much the same, but this time with the luxury of modern amenities,such as glass cockpit, satellite radio, and Wi-Fi, among others. Commit 65 is currentlysubmitting plans to the FAA and have not yet decided which method of refueling will be used,whether ground-to-air, as in 1958/59, or air-to-air as in the first endurance flight in Meridian,
Mississippi in 1935. Commit 65 is hoping to take off in September of 2011 from Boise and movefurther south as the flight leads further into autumn. The flight plan will depend, largely, onwhich method of refueling is used.
PRESS: Commit 65 has already gained press locally, nationally, and internationally, including amention in USA Today and a feature in Great Britain’s LOOP Magazine. NBC’s The TodayShow also contacted Commit 65. We anticipate a great response from major media outlets.
FUNDRAISING: A portion of the sale of all Rock 'n Bowl wristbands go to benefit Commit 65. There will also be a silent auction at the December 13 Launch Party to benefit Commit 65. The fundraising efforts are being made with the goal of funding a used Cessna 172 or likeaircraft, which will then be revamped.
CONTACT/FOLLOW: Website: http://www.commit65.org/Facebook: search for “Commit 65”Twitter: @Commit65 and @themattpipkin