Europe

Russian balloonist soon to circumnavigate globe in 11 days

  • In this Tuesday, July 12, 2016 photo released Wednesday, July 20, 2016 by Morton, Russian adventurer Fedor Konyukhov floats at more than 6,000 meters (20,000 feet) above an area close to Northam in Western Australia state in his helium and hot-air balloon as he makes a record attempt to fly solo in a balloon around the world nonstop. Konyukhov, 65, was battling sleep deprivation, freezing temperatures and ice in his oxygen mask as he nears the end of his record attempt to fly solo around the world nonstop, his son said on Wednesday July 20, 2016. (Oscar Konyukhov/Morton via AP)

    In this Tuesday, July 12, 2016 photo released Wednesday, July 20, 2016 by Morton, Russian adventurer Fedor Konyukhov floats at more than 6,000 meters (20,000 feet) above an area close to Northam in Western Australia state in his helium and hot-air balloon as he makes a record attempt to fly solo in a balloon around the world nonstop. Konyukhov, 65, was battling sleep deprivation, freezing temperatures and ice in his oxygen mask as he nears the end of his record attempt to fly solo around the world nonstop, his son said on Wednesday July 20, 2016. (Oscar Konyukhov/Morton via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this Monday, July 11, 2016 photo released Wednesday, July 20, 2016 by Morton, Russian adventurer Fedor Konyukhov stands by his helium and hot-air balloon being inflated before liftoff on his record attempt to fly solo in a balloon around the world nonstop in Northam in Western Australia state. Konyukhov, 65, now flying at more than 6,000 meters (20 feet) above the ground, was battling sleep deprivation, freezing temperatures and ice in his oxygen mask as he nears the end of his record attempt to fly solo around the world nonstop, his son said on Wednesday, July 20, 2016. (Oscar Konyukhov/Morton via AP)

    In this Monday, July 11, 2016 photo released Wednesday, July 20, 2016 by Morton, Russian adventurer Fedor Konyukhov stands by his helium and hot-air balloon being inflated before liftoff on his record attempt to fly solo in a balloon around the world nonstop in Northam in Western Australia state. Konyukhov, 65, now flying at more than 6,000 meters (20 feet) above the ground, was battling sleep deprivation, freezing temperatures and ice in his oxygen mask as he nears the end of his record attempt to fly solo around the world nonstop, his son said on Wednesday, July 20, 2016. (Oscar Konyukhov/Morton via AP)  (The Associated Press)

An official says a 65-year-old Russian adventurer is drifting in a balloon in fair weather hours before he is expected to land in the Australian Outback and set a record for flying solo nonstop around the world.

Support crew member John Wellington says Fedor Konyukhov is flying northeast toward the southwest Australian coast and is expected to cross around noon Saturday (0400 GMT).

Wellington says Konyukhov then hopes to land around 4 p.m. (0800 GMT) between the gold mining town of Kalgoorlie and Northam, where his eastward journey began on July 12.