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  Sunday, January 17, 2021
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Despite a fuel shortage, adventurer Steve Fossett neared the coast of California on Thursday trying to complete the first nonstop solo airplane flight around the world
At 8:30 a.m. EST Fossett was nearing the U.S. coast southwest of Los Angeles, trying to make it back to the airfield in the middle of Kansas from which he took off Monday evening. Hours earlier Fossett had decided not to end his effort and land in Hawaii. His team said he had gained a push from tailwinds that would help make up for the fuel shortfall. There had been speculation the 60-year-old millionaire former markets trader might have to land the experimental plane powered by a single jet engine because of an unexplained loss of fuel. Project director Paul Moore said fuel somehow leaked or more fuel was consumed than was realized, leaving Fossett with barely enough to get across the Pacific, informs Reuters. Project manager Paul Moore said fuel sensors in the custom-built plane's 13 tanks differed from readings of how quickly its single jet engine was burning fuel. Moore said the crew had been forced to assume that 2,600 pounds of the original 18,100 pounds of fuel "disappeared" early in the flight. But mission control determined the plane had conserved fuel because of strong tail winds and still had more than 3,200 pounds, enough to finish the global trek. It was not clear whether there was an actual leak or just a problem with the sensors, Fossett's team said. Fossett, 60, already holds the record for flying solo around the globe in a balloon, as well as dozens of other aviation and sailing records. He is trying to break several aviation records, including the longest flight by a jet. The record is more than 12,000 miles, set by a B-52 bomber in 1962, tells the USA Today.
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