Russian balloonist soon to circumnavigate globe in 11 days

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — 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.