Fossett Makes Emergency Landing In England
Achieves 'The Ultimate Flight'
February 11, 2006 — EAA member Steve Fossett's Ultimate Flight concluded with significantly more drama than when started about 80 hours earlier, but he has reportedly landed safely in England in the Virgin Atlantic GlobalFlyer to establish an unofficial new distance world record for non-stop, unrefueled flight.
At around 1710 UTC (11:10 a.m. CT), the mission's website announced that Fossett had declared a Mayday on his approach to his planned landing site, Kent International Airport, when a reported malfunction occurred in the aircraft's generator. To avoid having to ditch, he diverted to Bournemouth, several miles to the west. Information on the mission's website reads:
"Mayday Declared by Steve.Diverted to Bournemouth.Generator problem with aircraft.Steve avoided having to ditch.Steve safely on ground."
Early Saturday morning, Fossett and his mission control team decided to continue across the Atlantic after calculating that there was enough fuel and ample tail winds to complete the flight. A dispatch received from the mission control team said Fossett would undergo a complete medical check at Bornemouth after which, if he is able, he'd proceed to Kent to address the media.