Friday, February 10

Almost around the world

Steve Fossett is now over the Gulf of Mexico, having passed Houston and getting close to overflying his takeoff point at NASA's Kennedy Space center in Florida. So he's now just an hour or so from tying his own record last year for a solo circumnavigation.
Soon, he was supposed to be be veering northward, essentially following the US east coast, then flying over Newfoundland, Greenland and on to Ireland and England. That would provide opportunities for emergency landing most of the way. But now, running short on fuel, he's planning a more southerly route, riskier but requiring less fuel overall. He'll have to make a potentially life-or-death decision Friday night as to whether to attempt the Atlantic crossing, with no more landing opportunities until the British isles.
After KSC, every mile brings him closer to new world records -- every mile past KSC is automatically the new distance record for a solo flight. But the risks keep increasing.


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