Utah grad student Nathan Hoch aims to recreate historic flight

Jun 18, 2024, 5:00 AM | Updated: 7:22 am

Russell Maughan and the plane used to make the historic flight Nathan Hoch plans to recreate....

Russell Maughan and the plane used to make the historic flight Nathan Hoch plans to recreate. (United States Air Force, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)

(United States Air Force, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)

LOGAN, UTAH — The first dusk to dawn transcontinental flight was done almost a century ago. Now, Utah graduate student Nathan Hoch is recreating that same journey. 

Utah native Russell Maughan was the first to fly from New York to California in less than a day. Hoch, a student at Utah State University, is preparing to make that flight himself. 

“I realized oh the hundred year anniversary of his flight is this year,” Hoch said. “So, then I just kind of thought: what if I recreated his flight?”

Hoch says he would plan his trip through the evenings while he was rocking his baby.

“Once he fell asleep, I just kind of keep holding him for a while,” Hoch said. “And that’s when I would do a lot of my planning or thinking about it.”

Initially, Hoch considered the trip nothing more than a thought experiment. But discovering that his last flight would touch down only minutes from Maughan’s landing changed his mind. Hoch took it as a sign and began making preparations.

Unlike Maughan, Hoch will travel via sky and land. Hoch’s trip will take four days and will stop where Maughan himself landed to refuel. His last flight from Salt Lake to San Francisco will land only minutes from when Maughan did 100 years ago.

Hoch says he will write an article of his trip in hopes for it to be published in an aviation magazine.

Related: A grainy sonar image reignites excitement and skepticism over Earhart’s final flight

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.


The first victim identified in 1921 Tulsa race massacre was an Ogden man...

Britt Johnson

First victim of 1921 Tulsa race massacre identified as Ogden man

With genetic testing, a Utah non-profit was able to identify the first victim of the 1921 Tulsa race massacre as a man from Utah.

10 hours ago

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy during his visit to utah...

Bridger Beal-Cvetko, KSL.com

‘Evil must always, always lose,’ Ukrainian President Zelenskyy says during Utah visit

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called for continued support for Ukraine during a visit to Utah on Friday.

11 hours ago

Two stores in Washington County would go up for sale if the new proposed merger between Kroger and ...

Tammy Kikuchi

Merger might lead to Albertsons stores in Washington County going up for sale

Two Albertsons stores in Washington County might go up for sale if a merger between Kroger and Albertsons is approved.

13 hours ago

A Unified Fire Authority firetruck Friday, July 2, 2021, after a forklift hit a section of the inte...

KSL NewsRadio

Fire in Layton causes FrontRunner delays as area deals with power outage

A brush fire has broken out in Layton causing delays. UTA FrontRunner is seeing delays around the Layton station.

13 hours ago

Weekend road closures on Bangerter...

Amie Schaeffer

Drivers, expect weekend road closures on Bangerter Highway in Riverton

Construction on Bangerter will cause weekend road closures according to the Utah Department of Transportation.

15 hours ago

East/west traffic on 4700 South at Bangerter Highway is going to shut down for a year due to constr...

Adam Small

How Utah construction workers are battling triple digit heat

Construction crews are having to deal with intense heat in Utah state this summer by taking breaks and communicating with one another.

16 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

A young woman smiles while reading the menu at a lakeside restaurant, enjoying the panoramic view o...

Bear Lake Convention & Visitors Bureau

The best restaurants to try in Bear Lake

Save this guide to the best restaurants in Bear Lake when you need to find a place to dine during your next visit.

Female leg stepping on weigh scales. Healthy lifestyle, food and sport concept....

Health Utah

Sustainable weight loss: the science-backed way to achieve it

Learn more about Debbie's weight loss journey with Health Utah, who have a unique weight loss philosophy for success.

Underwater shot of the fisherman holding the fish...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Your Bear Lake fishing guide

Bear Lake offers year-round fishing opportunities. By preparing ahead of time, you might go home with a big catch!

A group of people cut a purple ribbon...


Comcast announces major fiber network expansion in Utah

Comcast's commitment to delivering extensive coverage signifies a monumental leap toward a digitally empowered future for Utahns.

a doctor putting her hand on the chest of her patient...

Intermountain Health

Intermountain nurse-midwives launch new gynecology access clinic

An access clinic launched by Intermountain nurse-midwives provides women with comprehensive gynecology care.

Young couple hugging while a realtor in a suit hands them keys in a new home...

Utah Association of Realtors

Buying a home this spring? Avoid these 5 costly pitfalls

By avoiding these pitfalls when buying a home this spring, you can ensure your investment will be long-lasting and secure.

Utah grad student Nathan Hoch aims to recreate historic flight