Bal­loon pi­lots break records

Post-Tribune - - Post-Tribune Local -

Two ac­com­plished pi­lots safely touched down in the wa­ter just off the coast of Mex­ico in their helium-filled bal­loon af­ter shat­ter­ing two long-stand­ing records. Troy Bradley of Al­bu­querque and Leonid Tiukhtyaev of Rus­sia landed 4 miles off­shore in Baja Cal­i­for­nia. Bradley and Tiukhtyaev lifted off from Ja­pan last Sun­day morn­ing. By Fri­day, they beat what’s con­sid­ered the “holy grail” of bal­loon­ing achieve­ments, the 137-hour du­ra­tion record set in 1978 by the Dou­ble Ea­gle crew of Ben Abruzzo, Maxie An­der­son and Larry New­man in the first bal­loon flight across the At­lantic. They also eas­ily ex­ceeded the dis­tance record of 5,209 miles set by the Dou­ble Ea­gle V team dur­ing the first trans-Pa­cific flight in 1981. By the time they landed Satur­day, the pi­lots had trav­eled 6,646 miles over six days, 16 hours and 38 min­utes.

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