When Steve set his World Records the FAI Sporting Code rules for International Records had no limitation on the minimum distance which had to be flown to set a World Record.
Steve found that there was just one place in the World where he could set the shortest possible International Record between city centres in different countries. Just for fun, Steve decided attempt to set the World’s shortest possible Speed over a Recognised Course Record. It took three attempts to set this record due to the technicalities regarding timing accuracy based on ATC timing. Eventually the FAI accepted the timing accuracy for the distance travelled.
The shortest ever World Record turned out to be a distance of 0.26 miles between the city centres of Windsor in Canada and Detroit in the USA. However, the FAI Sporting Code rules state that a start or finish could be up to 60 miles from the respective city centre, so Steve ended up flying 120 miles just to set a record for the 0.26 miles between the city centres.
Following the setting of these record the NAA petitioned the FAI to change the rules for international records, which previously had no minimum distance specified, to be the same as for National Records which specified a minimum distance of 400 km or 250 miles. This change in the FAI Sporting Code rules affected 45 of Steve’s World Records which meant that every single one of these records cannot be beaten as nobody else is allowed to attempt these records!
For a full list of Steve’s ‘retired’ FAI World Records: Click here