Archive for Thursday, March 23, 2006

For Fossett’s thid flight, THS grad helps again

March 23, 2006

For the third time, Tonganoxie's Nancy Milleret helped adventurer Steve Fossett make a record-breaking flight.

Milleret is a senior majoring in airway science and professional pilot at Kansas State University-Salina College of Technology and Aviation.

A year ago, Milleret was one of a handful of K-State students asked to man mission control as Fossett flew the Virgin Atlantic GlobalFlyer on a 67-hour record-breaking solo non-stop around-the-world flight.

Fossett took off from and landed at Salina Municipal Airport.

Then, last month, Fossett made a record-breaking 26,389-mile flight in 76 hours, 45 minutes. He took off from Florida's Kennedy Space Center and landed in England. During that flight, Milleret again helped man mission control, this time from England's Kent International Airport.

And most recently, Fossett set another record, last week taking off from and landing at the Salina airport. This time Fossett successfully achieved the close-circuit distance record, the third record he set in the GlobalFlyer. In this flight it took Fossett more than 74 hours to circumnavigate the globe.

Milleret, the daughter of Mark and Melinda Milleret, Linwood, said last week's flight was more low-key than the other two.

"It was kind of last minute," Milleret said. "We kind of knew that he was interested in doing the flight, but it was just a week before he took off that he said, 'Yes, we're going to do it.'"

Milleret said she's glad she was able to help with Fossett's flights.

"I'm honored that I got to be involved in something so prestigious," Milleret said. "And I'm also kind of glad it's all over. It was a lot of work and now I can focus on finishing up school and figuring out what to do after graduation."

And, she said, she has something else to look forward to.

Fossett plans to give the GlobalFlyer to the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., where everyone, including Milleret, will be able to see it.

"They're supposed to throw a big party when it gets put into the museum," said Milleret, who was Tonganoxie High School's 2002 valedictorian. "So I should be there for that."

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