Search for Amelia Earhart: Elgen Long

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In 1971 at age forty-four, Elgen set out to be the first man to fly solo around the world over both poles. The flight over the South Pole would make him the first man to have crossed Antarctica alone. It was the longest solo flight ever sanctioned by the Federation Aeronatique Internationale, and for this feat Elgen was selected as the outstanding sport pilot in the world and was presented the Gold Air Medal in Paris, France, 1972. Elgen navigated the round-the-world flight using an inertial navigation system. This was the first flight round-the-world over both poles using this new navigation system and the Institute of Navigation chose Elgen to receive their award as the outstanding practicing navigator for 1971. These are the world's top awards that can be presented in these two different disciplines.

In gratitude, Elgen and his wife Marie decided to travel throughout the world interviewing the people still living that actually participated in Amelia’s last flight. This effort resulted in the historic collection of Amelia Earhart data and interviews that now reside at the Seaword Foundation. Unfortunately, Marie passed away in June 2003 but the search for Earhart’s plane continues using the data and information that she helped develop.

Related media: Watch a video about Elgen's Round-the-World Flight