Wednesday, March 02, 2005

GlobalFlyer: Running on empty

Interesting development to Fossett's jaunt around the globe:

(CNN) -- Millionaire adventurer Steve Fossett's attempt to fly around the world solo on a single tank of gas may fall short because of a faulty fuel gauge.

Back-up sensors to the fuel gauge indicate the Virgin Atlantic GlobalFlyer has 2,600 pounds less fuel than expected. Mission managers said they do not think the aircraft is losing fuel.

Engineers were perplexed and are trying to determine if there was a mistake putting the fuel on board the plane or if something happened within the first three hours of the flight, Virgin spokeswoman Lori Levin told CNN.

One theory is that despite the full reading on the fuel gauge after the tanks were filled, they may have been 2,600 pounds short of fuel.

As of 10:30 a.m. ET Wednesday, Fossett was over China with 5,500 pounds of fuel remaining.

Seems to me there isn't much of a decision to make. If the
standby fuel gauges
show him 2600 lbs short, chances are he
does not have the needed fuel, and to press
on is to invite
a swim in the Pacific - assuming he survives the ditching.