Following an exhausting three weeks the impossible has been achieved. At a crisis meeting of the Engineers it became apparent that there was a design fault in the machine.

In designing the early helicopters the engineers made them as strong as possible and yet they kept falling out of the sky. Then a 'bright spark' suggested that it be made weaker and more flexible and sure enough it flew.

The same principle applies to Snowbird. We have made it so strong that when it flexed over the waves or when it was climbing up out of the water there was nowhere for the strain to go except into the bering houses and shafts, which eventually fractured. The team worked flat out day and night on up to 40 hour shifts at a time to re-build the vehicle, so that it could be tested for 24 hours to confirm that the new design works and, 'hey presto' it does.

Snowbird has now been shipped to Alaska and the team are making their final preparations. The Expedition helicopter has also been shipped and Steve, Q and Jo will be flying out on the 27th February to start their flight from Seattle to Nome where the Bering Straits 2002 Expedition will begin.