Salina Or Bust?

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Fuel-Short (Maybe) Fossett Presses On

While Steve Fossett might be able to stay awake for 80 hours (concerns over a "missing" 2,600 gallons of fuel might help), we at AVweb make no such claim. So we leave you at 1 a.m. EST with the adventurer northeast of Hawaii, consistently running at better than 270 kts at 46,000-plus feet and determined to land at Salina, Kan. sometime today -- at a more civilized hour. "I hit the jetstream very well, which has put us in a better fuel position. I have every hope of making it to Salina tomorrow," Fossett told his mission control team back in Kansas via satellite phone. This, despite a day-long drama Wednesday over his fuel state and the very real possibility that he might land in Hawaii (who could blame him at this time of year) instead of Salina. Late Tuesday, as GlobalFlyer settled into its solo, round-the-world flight questions arose over the fate of about 2,600 lbs. of fuel, which appeared to have gone AWOL. As Fossett approached Japan early Wednesday, he said tail winds would determine if he could become the first to fly solo, non-stop around the world. The forecast wasn't good and Hawaii was looking like an alternate for part of the day. Then he got the kick he needed and decided to press on, making the decision to take off from the center of the continent in the first place look better with each passing moment.