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Tue, Mar 01, 2005

Fly, Fossett, Fly!

So Far, So Good In Adventurer's 'Round-The-World Solo Attempt

REAL TIME UPDATE: 1730 EST Steve Fossett ran into some navigation problems Tuesday. While crossing North Africa, he reportedly lost the use of his GPS for a short time.

"This is my sole source of navigation," Fosset said during an interview with Project Manager Paul Moore Tuesday morning. "This is very serious." He was quoted by the Salina Journal, which has tracked Fossett's record attempt since his Global Flyer team arrived in Salina, KS, last month.

Ironically, with the onboard GPS on the fritz, Mission Control and Moore could tell where Fossett was at any given time -- Fossett, however, couldn't.

The GPS problem first cropped up about four hours into the flight, as Fossett was crossing the North American coast, into the open Atlantic on his way to Africa. but just as mysteriously as it cropped up, the problem disappeared.

Fossett is now over east-central Africa. Fuel consumption is a tad better than originally thought, but he's not making the time he'd hoped to make.

REAL TIME UPDATE: 0830 EST Pilot/adventurer Steve Fossett reportedly spent a trouble-free night on the first leg of his attempt to set a new world record -- around the world solo, without refueling.

At 0830 Tuesday, Fossett and his Virgin Atlantic Global Flyer were eastbound, just off the coast of Morrocco. Mission Control reported his speed at 346 kts. and his altitude at 43,634 feet.

“Essentially everything is going extremely well and according to plan,” mission spokesman Paul Moore said at a news conference shortly after 2000 local Monday. “[Fosset's]comfortable with the controls and comfortable with the aircraft.”



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