Feeds

Fossett's farewell fatalities

Birds killed by round-the-world plane

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

Steve Fossett's non-stop flight distance record attempt has entered its second day, but was nearly scuppered on take off, it has emerged. As soon as Fossett had got off the ground a flock of birds at the Kennedy Space Centre could have brought him crashing back down, the Virgin GlobalFlyer website reports.

Fossett told his team: "Take-off was a bit scary to say the least. I had to use most of the runway to get off the ground. This was particularly hairy because I could not have aborted even if I had wanted to. To make matters worse, two birds hit the aircraft.”

The birds were spotted above the end of the runway before take-off, and later two were found dead on the ground. A large bird being ingested by a jet engine may cause it to explode, aviation experts explained.

Chief project engineer Jon Karkow said: “In this case the birds appear to have hit the leading edge of the wing and perhaps the nose of the boom tanks.” No damage could be detected, however.

The main worry now is that the collision may cause another fuel leak, which beset preparations for the attempt.

Fossett this morning was over the Arabian peninsula, approaching India. Along with China, Saudi Arabia insists on special permission being granted to use its airspace. The GlobalFlyer team now say they have all the permits they need to get around the world.

Track Fossett's progress here. ®

The Power of One Infographic

More from The Register

next story
World Solar Challenge contender claims new speed record
One charge sees Sunswift travel 500kms at over 100 km/h
SMELL YOU LATER, LOSERS – Dumbo tells rats, dogs... humans
Junk in the trunk? That's what people have
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab
IBM, MIT, plenty of others invited to fill Uncle Sam's spy toolchest, but where's Google?
Beancounters tell NASA it's too poor to fly planned mega-rocket
Space Launch System would need another $400m and a lot of time
Bad back? Show some spine and stop popping paracetamol
Study finds common pain-killer doesn't reduce pain or shorten recovery
Forty-five years ago: FOOTPRINTS FOUND ON MOON
NASA won't be back any time soon, sadly
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.