Brit Makes The Ballooning Record Books
Hot air balloons are designed to fly in good-weather conditions, but that was not the case for the British pilot who broke a ballooning record this week. On Monday, David Hempleman-Adams became the first person to fly solo across the Atlantic in an open wicker-basket balloon. The flight -- which followed a route from Sussex, New Brunswick, in Canada to Hambleton, Lancs, in the United Kingdom -- took 83 hours, 14 minutes and 35 seconds to complete. The 46-year-old adventurer faced the most perilous portion of his flight as he approached the U.K. for landing. While Hempleman-Adamsí original plan was to land next to the Blackpool Tower, he found himself drifting farther inland and dodging houses and power lines as the aircraft descended below 100 feet. He finally crash-landed in a cow pasture without sustaining any serious injuries. One may think that was the worst of his ballooning adventure but Hempleman-Adams told reporters his most frightening moment came when Concorde flew overhead as he drifted across Ireland. "The basket dropped about a foot," he said. "I thought the rigging wires had collapsed."