Steve Fossett has been forced to postpone his attempt to set a new absolute distance record owing to a mechanical problem with the Virgin Atlantic GlobalFlyer aircraft. A fuel leak was discovered in the final thirty minutes before launch by the aircraft engineers during the final flight preparations. The mechanical problem occurred with the new boom vent systems were stalled after the aircraft experienced a loss of fuel during the last successful round the world record attempt last year. All early indications lead the team to believe that this boom venting issue can be successfully rectified within the next 24 hours.
Steve Fossett is currently considering all weather data pertaining to both ground conditions and round the world winds for the next week and hopes to reschedule a launch between now and 15th February.
Steve Fossett commented:
“This is obviously very disappointing news for the whole project team. As anyone knows who undertakes challenges of this nature there are always obstacles to overcome, whether it is the weather or mechanical issues.
“I have total confidence in the team to rectify this problem so we can launch the record attempt as soon as the fix has been undertaken and the weather permits. Mission Control is continuing to analyze both the ground forecasts for take off and the jet streams around the world in order to identify the next possible take off opportunity.".