4:37 PM


Steve Fossett's flight did not get off to a smooth start, to say the very least.

His fuel-laden GlobalFlyer needed nearly all of the Kennedy Space Center's three mile long runway to take off. Then, seconds after lift-off, two seabirds smashed into the plane. Meanwhile, temperatures inside the GF's tiny cockpit soared to 130° Fahrenheit (49° Celsius), causing some of the instruments to momentarily blink out.

"Take off was a bit scary to say the least," Fossett told his ground control team in London. With the plane traveling 140 mph down the runway, Fossett said he had no choice but to attempt takeoff, as there was not enough pavement left to stop. "I couldn't have aborted even if I had wanted to," Fossett said.
Kinda sounds like Lindy's departure from Roosevelt Field, Long Island.

You just gotta hate that awful thudding sound when Jonathan Livingstone SeaGull vaporizes himself on your airframe. I have a friend who's C182 and a Canadian Snow Goose met unexpectedly on very short final. What the hell a CSG was doing inbound to Reedley Muni in Central California is anyone's guess – probably coming back from a nice winter holiday in Cancun. But Don Siler did the one thing you can do to save your ass...FLY THE PLANE!

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