1:09 PM

An aviation marriage
made in heaven

I just love it when I read about the accomplishments of our country’s best and brightest young aviation students and pilots. So I was stoked beyond belief when I found out that Steve Fossett’s latest record attempt in GlobalFlyer was being planned and implemented by a group of students at Kansas State in Salina.

This is best said in the K-state press release:

SALINA - Kansas State University at Salina students will assume a major leadership role in the next record attempt of Steve Fossett, aviator and pilot of the Virgin Atlantic GlobalFlyer aircraft. The GlobalFlyer completed the world's first solo flight around the world in March 2005, and set the non-stop distance record last month. K-State at Salina students and faculty were involved in both previous flights.

The next flight will be an attempt to set the closed-course distance record and is slated to begin and end in Salina. Unlike the 2005 flight, which also took place in Salina, Virgin Atlantic will not be sending staff to Salina for the flight. For that reason, K-State students, faculty and staff will be providing the leadership and infrastructure for the operations in Mission Control, as well as handling the Web site maintenance and mission updates throughout the flight.

"It is no wonder that Steve has asked our students to be involved in this project," said Dennis Kuhlman, K-State at Salina dean. "He strives to encourage and inspire young people to work hard and achieve their
dreams, and this is a tremendous opportunity for our students to be a part of a very inspiring project."

As during the last Salina-based attempt, students were selected to support the flight planning, mission control and aircraft ground crew operations. In addition, a Web update team is being assembled and trained to assist with computer connectivity on the ground and updates to the Web site that will track the flight. It is estimated that the Web update team will eventually include more than a dozen students.
This is a marriage truly made in heaven. When you match these young minds with the aviation enthusiasm that Steve Fossett possesses, great things can happen.

The K-state/GlobalFlyer web site is wonderful, check it out here. To keep up with near real-time flight news, read their blog here.

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