GlobalFlyer Diverted After Generator Failure
Steve Fossett had already flown more than 25,000 miles and was descending from 50,000 feet to his planned landing site in England Saturday evening when a generator failed in the Virgin Galactic GlobalFlyer. Fossett diverted from Manston to Bournemouth and landed safely, succeeding in his quest to complete the longest-ever flight in an aircraft, with no stops and no refueling ... and injuring or killing at least one bird (not considered part of the record). Fossett coped with the bird strike on takeoff, cockpit temperatures up to 130 degrees, and severe turbulence over India that at its worst adjusted his altitude in 1,000-foot increments. "It was a scary time and I had my parachute on and I was prepared to bail out in case a wing broke," Fossett said. In all, he flew 26,389.3 miles in 76 hours 45 minutes. The Global Flyer burst two tires on landing, and Fossett said the windscreen was iced up so much that he couldn't see more than a few yards ahead.