UTAH

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

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Utah grad student Nathan Hoch aims to recreate historic flight