Adventurer Attempts Closed-Circuit Flight Record

Aviator Steve Fossett is off on another bid for a world-record flight.

The millionaire adventurer took off from a Salina airport at 6:40 a.m. (1040GMT) Tuesday in the Virgin Atlantic GlobalFlyer, hoping to break the closed-circuit distance record for a flight that begins and ends at the same location.

The weather was excellent when the experimental aircraft lifted off the 12,300-foot (3,690-meter) runway. The flight comes about a year after Fossett flew out of Kansas on the world's first, solo nonstop trip around the globe. He returned after 23,000 miles (37,000 kilometers) and 67 hours.

The crowd was far smaller than last year's gathering. Fewer than 20 people were on hand, mostly members of the local chamber of commerce, airport personnel and media.

This year Fossett is piloting the GlobalFlyer on roughly the same route as last year's flight, but he will add several turns to increase the total mileage.

The existing closed-circuit record of nearly 25,000 miles (40,225 kilometers) was set in 1986 by the team of Richard Rutan and Jeana Yeager.


On the Net:

Copyright 2005 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

News stories provided by third parties are not edited by "Site Publication" staff. For suggestions and comments, please click the Contact link at the bottom of this page.