Spirit of St. Louis, Sort Of

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LE BOURGET, FRANCE -- Texas businessman Bill Signs said he felt "pretty tired but pretty good" after successfully retracing Charles Lindbergh's historic trans-Atlantic flight today. After nearly 22 hours in the air, Signs was greeted in France this morning by a misty rain and about 200 enthusiastic fans waving French and American flags. Signs's crossing comes on the 70th anniversary of Lindbergh's solo, non-stop trans-Atlantic flight, though he faced none of the life-threatening risks Lindbergh conquered to reach Europe. Signs flew a Cessna 210, equipped with state-of-the-art electronics. He also had the luxury of a wet suit and life raft, where Lindbergh eschewed unnecessary supplies or safety equipment in order to lighten his load and lessen his fuel needs, considerations Signs didn’t face. But at least symbolically, Signs wanted to match Lindy's flight as closely as possible. He took off from a New York suburb at 7:52 a.m. Tuesday, the exact time that Lindbergh's "Spirit of St. Louis" left on May 20, 1927. Signs followed Lindbergh’s route over Nova Scotia, past Greenland and over the west coast of Ireland. When asked whether he would do it again, he answered, "Oh sure. Maybe for the 75th anniversary." And probably in an even more modern craft.