Permanent Human Settlement of the Earth, Space and Ocean Frontiers

Friday, February 10, 2006

Fossett Now Over Halfway

Steve Fossett - currently in the middel of his record breaking flight around the world and more, has admitted that during a period of "severe" turbulence he feared a wing might break and had put on his parachute in case he had to abandon the plane mid-air. The turbulence occurred approximately 14:30UTC Thursday as he flew over Bhophal in India. Although Steve informed Mission Control about the turbulence and said he was "uncomfortable" he did not let the team know the full extent of the trouble. It was only later in the evening that he revealed he had put his parachute on and that the turbulence had been a frightening experience.

Steve said: "I was afraid it was going to break up. It was a scary time and I had my parachute on and I was prepared to bail out in case a wing broke."

The aircraft feels turbulence four times more than a commercial aircraft would. Due to the fragile nature of the Virgin Atlantic GlobalFlyer there is a possibility that severe conditions could damage the plane and break a wing.

Although the turbulence is behind him, the remainder of the flight will be a challenging experience. Steve said: "I still have a lot to worry about."

If all goes well, Fossett will land in England on February 11th at 1830UTC.

You can keep up with the mission hour by hour by clicking here.

(Portions of the blog were contributed by Amy Abrahams.)