Indian Adventurer Claims Balloon Altitude Record
An Indian textiles tycoon is claiming to have established a new altitude record for hot air balloons. Vijaypat Singhania says he flew the specially designed balloon to 21,300 meters (70,000 feet) in a five-hour flight that covered about 150 miles on Saturday. "When I broke the record, I was euphoric. I screamed quite loudly," Singhania told The Associated Press. "This goes to show to the world that we are not bullock cart drivers, but we can compete against the best of the world." Instruments sealed within the balloon's capsule must be analyzed to determine the exact height of the flight. Singhania occupied a pressurized capsule hanging beneath the 150-foot-tall canopy. Indian television covered the record attempt live. The current record is held by Swede Per Lindstrand, who ascended to about 65,000 feet over Plano, Texas, in June 1988. Once verified, details of the feat will be sent to the Guinness Book of World Records.