GlobalFlyer (Still) Waits For Weather, Spotters Sought

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It's always nice to have a tailwind but when your destination is your departure point and you're only flying in one direction, it's pretty much necessary. Steve Fossett and the GlobalFlyer crew are awaiting more favorable weather to launch their around-the-world, solo nonstop flight. Earliest date will be Feb. 12 as they wait for a big jog in the jet stream to straighten out and give them the conditions they need to take off. Of particular concern is turbulence during the earlier hours of the flight since the weight of the fuel aboard will already be stressing the airframe to near its limits. Once the flight gets under way, the team is hoping for help in tracking the plane. Everyone from amateur astronomers to missile-tracking specialists are being invited to set up a spotting station if they happen to be along the proposed route. Videos and still photos would especially be appreciated. They'd be broadcast over the Web. The route will take GlobalFlyer over Montreal, London, Paris, Rome, Cairo, Karachi, Shanghai, Tokyo, Honolulu, Los Angeles and Chicago at an average altitude of 45,000 feet. For more information, contact spotters@virginglobalflyer.com.