First Asian Woman to Fly Around-the-World, Julie Wang, Rejects Challenges to Record-Setting 2016 Flight
WEST PALM BEACH, FL (June 21, 2019) –U.S. airline captain Julie Wang, who made international headlines in 2016 with her solo flight around the world, rejects the premise of a June 15, 2019, story in The Palm Beach Post entitled, “Who was first Chinese woman to fly around the globe? Lawsuits seek to decide.”
The story and its headline are based on a fallacy. The Post’s error in logic is that the fact of Julie Wang’s historic flight as the first Chinese woman to fly around the world is not changed by the filing of lawsuits. Beyond this, The Post recklessly casts doubt upon Wang’s accomplishment knowing it has definitive, independent, unassailable evidence of Julie Wang’s flight at its fingertips. Parsing not facts but unsubstantiated allegations contained in court filings, The Post unfairly victimizes Julie Wang and subtly and not so subtly vilifies her character and reputation based upon innuendo and nothing more.
Publicly available evidence shows that Julie Wang flew solo around the world, departing from Addison, Texas, outside Dallas, on August 17, 2016, and returning to Addison on September 19, 2016. Like commercial airliners, her aircraft had a sophisticated transponder, permitting her aircraft’s latitude, longitude, altitude, speed and direction, all to be transmitted to air traffic control and be recorded by all the various websites that offer flight status information anywhere in the world.
The Post was directed how to access one of these services free of charge to obtain independent GPS tracking data of Wang’s 2016 flight. Rather than investigate and report on the facts, The Post deliberately ignored them. The GPS data alone, however, is enough to confirm the bona fides of Wang’s flight, sinking not only The Post’s story but also various lawsuits by Jingxian Chen, a novice pilot seeking to claim Julie Wang’s record “first Chinese woman to fly around the world” for herself.
This is The Post’s 800-pound gorilla; not only ignoring evidence that would have killed the story as written but also the public knowledge that Chen’s aircraft finished eight days after Julie Wang’s even with the aircraft owner, Ohio-based Laurence Rohl, a 10,000+ hour American pilot and FAA-certified flight instructor, sitting beside Chen the entire flight.
Chen admits she arranged for Rohl to be there to take control of the flight when the conditions were beyond her capabilities, physical condition or experience, and Rohl was tasked to handle “checking Chen’s fuel and navigation calculations.” Chen also admits that Rohl indeed stepped in to take control over the fight more than once, and on one occasion when Chen could not land the plane, took the controls from Chen and saved the lives of all on board, this according to Chen herself during a Radio Beijing interview.
Event promoter Wei Chen, on July 31, 2016, after meeting with Jingxian Chen, concluded that she “didn’t have enough skill to fly [around-the-world] and had to hire a senior pilot to fly with her.” Later, in October 2016, Wei Chen questioned whether someone like Chen, a novice pilot with a hired chaperone sitting beside her for the entire around-the-world flight, legitimately may claim such a flight as their own achievement.
In the nearly three years since Julie Wang set a series of historic aviation records, Jingxian Chen has relentlessly pursued wresting from Wang the title and cash prize Chen so badly covets, employing every stratagem she can muster against Julie Wang. Not even Chen, however, can point to evidence that Julie Wang’s global solo circumnavigation flight is other than 100% legitimate.
Julie Wang will continue vigorously to defend her global flight accomplishment whether in the courts or in the public square. She refuses to abide a dereliction of honesty by a very few in aviation that, if left unchecked, would gradually infiltrate the industry. “I encourage everyone who loves or is inspired by aviation to become more involved in the aviation world. You will find in aviation among the best, most interesting people of integrity you are ever likely to meet. There is no room however for those who would fake their achievements. They poison aviation culture and ultimately compromise safety.”
Source: Law Office of James A. Frechter
James A. Frechter