5:52 PM

Not really a greaser, but he made it down

World of Flying congratulates Steve Fossett for his 76:45:00, 26,389 mile flight solo around the world. But while he technically set the record, it was not with the pretty ending might have liked.

Just miles from his destination at Kent International Airport, Fossett’s generator failed, which meant a total electrical breakdown, and he was forced to make an emergency Mayday landing at Bournemouth Airport.

Chief Executive of Virgin Atlantic, Steve Ridgeway said:

If we didn’t get him down in fifteen minutes, he would have had to ditch the plane. On landing, Steve burst two tires, and his windscreen was so iced up he couldn't see even a few meters in front of him. And he had only 200 lbs of fuel left; which if he had continued may well have turned into another emergency!
Whew. This trip started with a takeoff from hell in which Fossett had to horse GlobalFlyer off the KSC runway as he neared its end, before smacking down two gulls. So by making an emergency landing with two blown tires and a frozen windscreen, it sounds like the trip ended the way it began.

So what’s next for Fossett? Well, as you know, he’s backed by Sir Richard Branson, so expect the VirginGalactic Airlines Flyer to launch soon, with Fossett at the helm trying to set the first mark ever for solo flight to the moon.

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