On October 24, 2014, the 58-year- old Google Engineering executive and his StratEx team surprised the world by breaking three world records, including the highest skydive - 135,899 feet. During the freefall, Alan broke the sound barrier with a top speed of 822 mph. This project was the culmination of a three-year effort to develop a truly revolutionary, personal, scuba-like system for surviving in and exploring the stratosphere. This incredible team is chronicled in the documentary “14 Minutes from Earth”, and the book by Jared Lidech entitled “Wild Black Yonder”.
After leaving Google, Alan worked with Dave Jourdan and Nauticos to find Amelia Earhart’s missing Lockheed Electra. Unfortunately, despite extensive research and 49 days of searching by a world-class team, they were not able to locate the wreckage. In 2020, Alan started a small company called Aqua Satellite to build and airdrop autonomous submarines that have the potential to dramatically reduce the cost of future ocean Amelia Earhart searches.
Alan continues to contribute to the cutting edge of aircraft and space technology through his participation on the boards of Opener and Space Perspectives. Opener is building personal, electric, autonomous, Electric Vertical Takeoff/Landing EVTOL aircraft that do not require a pilot’s license to fly. Space Perspectives taking reservations for a first kinder, gentler and cheaper approach to space tourism business using stratospheric balloons to lift a first-class cabin to 100,000 feet.
Alan holds an ATP certificate in both fixed wing and rotary wing aircraft. He has over 3000 hours, in a combination of jets, turboprops, pistons, taildraggers, helicopters, lighter than air balloons, and multi-engine seaplanes. He earned a bachelors, masters, and a Ph.D. in computer science from the University of Central Florida. The StratEx team was a 2014 finalist for the Collier Award. Alan was the winner of the 2014 Laureus Award for Action Sports, the 2015 FAI/Breitling Milestone Award, and the 2015 Northern California Aero Club’s Golden Eagle Award. He is a honorary Golden Knight, an Explorers Club Fellow and in 2019 was inducted into the International Skydiving Hall of Fame. His record-breaking spacesuit is on display at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.