Youthful Entrepreneur Shatters Record on Global Charity Flight

Even if he hadn't obliterated a round-the-world light-jet record by some 21 hours, you'd still have to think 26-year-old Citation CJ2 owner-pilot Jared Isaacman is a remarkable individual.

The New Jersey entrepreneur started his first business, a bank-card processing company, in his parents' basement when he was 16. United Bank Card has grown to become one of the largest such companies, and Isaacman one of the world's most startlingly successful young businessmen.

Always interested in aerospace, he began flying lessons three and a half years ago. Today, he flies his own Citation III, CJ1, Mustang and the CJ2 he flew on his record flight-as well as a growing collection of jet warbirds. Together with copilot Doug Demko and an observer from the National Aeronautic Association, Isaacman left Morristown (NJ) Airport on April 10 and landed back at MMU 61 hours, 51 minutes, 15 seconds later. The trip covered a total of 15 legs.

The previous light-jet record for circumnavigation had stood for 18 years. Always interested in going 'higher, faster and farther,' Isaacman recently flew the Citation to Russia to watch a Soyuz space launch. While there, he discussed his own aspirations for orbital flight with fellow space enthusiasts Sergey Brin and Larry Page, also known as the founders of Google.

Besides the adventure of it all, the purpose of Isaacman's record world flight was to raise funds for the Make-A-Wish Foundation of New Jersey. As well as sponsoring the flight, itself, Isaacman will personally match all contributions up to $20,000. Donations in recognition of his flight can still be made on his website, Isaacman's dream airplane? "With an unlimited fuel card, it sure would be nice to have an SR-71 sitting in my hangar," he said.

Mark Phelps is a senior editor at AVweb. He is an instrument rated private pilot and former owner of a Grumman American AA1B and a V-tail Bonanza.

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