[Congressional Record (Bound Edition), Volume 146 (2000), Part 5]
[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page 6728]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office, www.gpo.gov]

[[Page 6728]]

                         RECOGNIZING GUS McLEOD


                       HON. CONSTANCE A. MORELLA

                              of maryland

                    in the house of representatives

                         Wednesday, May 3, 2000

  Mrs. MORELLA. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honor a courageous 
explorer. On Monday, April 17, Gus McLeod, a former CIA agent, 
successfully flew his 1939 Boeing Stearman Biplane over the North Pole. 
Completing this journey, he became the first person to fly over the 
North Pole in an open-cockpit aircraft.
  Mr. McLeod undertook this expedition for the sake of adventure. He 
wanted to help people truly appreciate the challenges that the earliest 
pioneers of aviation faced. And what challenges he faced!
  Leaving Montgomery County Air Park in my district on April 5, Mr. 
McLeod flew his 60 year old aircraft, which has most recently been used 
as a crop duster, through freezing cold temperatures as low as 34 
degrees below zero and winds as harsh as 100 miles per hour. At 6-foot-
1, and 285 pounds, he had very little mobility in the cockpit of his 
old Army training plane. He wore a special electric suit to keep his 
body warm which left a burn the size of a silver dollar on his stomach 
which he didn't even notice at the time. He faced ``white-outs'' as he 
flew through snowy weather in Canada. At one point during the journey, 
the extreme cold caused the plastic engine gaskets to burst, causing 
his aircraft to leak oil and forcing a delay in his journey. But 
circling three times at the very top of the globe made him forget the 
cold and left only the feeling that all the hardships and challenges he 
endured were worthwhile.
  This latest feat of the human spirit harkens to the accomplishments 
of the very earliest heroes of flight. Charles Lindberg crossing the 
Atlantic. Amelia Earhart crossing the Atlantic, the Pacific, and 
attempting to circumnavigate the globe at the equator. Richard Byrd and 
Floyd Bennett making the first flight over the North Pole. And Gus 
McLeod repeating their journey in an open-cockpit bi-plane.