Back to Orlando 2006 2006 Special Guest
Special Guest - Douglas Cairns
Photo of Douglas Cairns

Douglas Cairns was a jet pilot and flight instructor in the British Royal Air Force (RAF) when, in 1989, he was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 25. With his pilot's license revoked because of his diabetes, Douglas left the RAF, changed career and relocated to Thailand.

In 1999, Douglas discovered that the United States had introduced a scheme that could allow him to fly solo on a full private pilot's license assuming he could meet the medical requirements. He met the medical requirements in 2000 and regained the freedom to fly solo 11 years after being grounded. At present, the USA is the only country in the world that can issue a full license to individuals with type 1 diabetes to exercise full Private Pilot License privileges.

In 2002, Diabetes World Flight was born to demonstrate to worldwide aviation authorities that it is possible for such pilots to fly safely according to the US FAA regulations. Douglas flew around the world in a light aircraft in 159 days, making 63 flights over 26,300 nautical miles and visiting 22 countries. The longest flight was 11 hours, flown solo between Hawaii and San Francisco.

Since completing Diabetes World Flight Douglas has set four world speed records in his Beech Baron aircraft, including a transcontinental record from San Diego to Kittyhawk in North Carolina which took over 12 hours including two brief refueling stops.

On June 11 & 12, 2006 Douglas completed a westbound Transcontinental & World Speed Record (subject to official ratification) between Jacksonville, Florida and San Diego, California in the "Diabetes World Flight" twin-engine Beech Baron aircraft. He is a tremendous example that diabetes does not have to limit the scope of our dreams and ambitions.

  2006 Conference and Expo  
  Conference Intro - Program Overview - Faculty - Youth Faculty - Special Guests  
  Schedules: Parents & Adults - Teens - Tweeners - Elementary Kids  
  Social Events - Focus Groups - Fun Run Pledge Sheet - FFL Award Recipients  
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Last Updated: Wednesday December 20, 2006 14:53:12
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