Local witnesses end of record flight | VailDaily.com

Local witnesses end of record flight

Tamara Miller

EDWARDS – Local resident Buddy Sims was driving through Kansas around the same time adventurer Steve Fossett was scheduled to land at the Salina, Kan. airport at the end of his around the world flight. Sims and his wife, Bonnie, were returning from Washington, D.C., with an eight-foot block of limestone that was torn off the Pentagon in the Sept. 11 attacks. The couple were in a bit of a hurry to get back to Colorado, since the “Freedom Rock” is scheduled to make an appearance by 10 a.m. today in a county-wide parade. It’s a kick-off event for the fund-raising efforts to build a veterans memorial in Edwards. “We were driving down the interstate and listening to the radio,” Sims said Friday afternoon. “Every news station in Kansas was talking about Steve Fossett.”My wife and I decided to take a couple-hour break to see him land,” Sims said. They pulled their moving truck into the airport’s parking lot and immediately were asked what was what inside. Pleased to learn that piece of the Pentagon was in town – albeit briefly – a local bank president invited the couple into airport’s VIP area to watch Fossett land. They listened to Fossett talk by radio to the flight control crew. “We didn’t see him coming down,” Sims said. “Then he stopped almost right in front of us. Everybody was cheering. It was just thousands of cameras.”Sims wasn’t close enough to see much of Fossett, but he appeared happy, Sims said. “He said, ‘I’m tired, I need to take a shower and get some sleep,'” Sims said.Staff Writer Tamara Miller can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 607, or tmiller@vaildaily.com.Vail, Colorado

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