Former United States' Army officer Thomas Gatch is hoping to become the first person to cross the Atlantic -- by balloon.
GV & CU Balloons in hangar
CU ZOOM OUT TO GV Gondola
SCU Reporter with pilot
SCU Gatch speaking (SOUND)
GV EXTERIOR Balloon being brought out onto runway
CU Men releasing balloons
CU & GV Gondola floating away
THOMAS GATCH: "Well, I like to hope that other aircraft in the area know where I am. Balloons have by international agreement the right of way, but that's like a pedestrian crossing a highway. I would like to hope that everyone knows where I am and they will respect the fact that I am not unmenoeuvrable, unsteerable, but my means of control is up and down, not left and right."
Initials BB/1735 AS/AH/BB/1751
The commentary on this film by reporter Leroy Bell is for guidance only. An alternative commentary is printed overleaf.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Former United States' Army officer Thomas Gatch is hoping to become the first person to cross the Atlantic -- by balloon. Early on Tuesday morning Gatch set off in his ten-balloon gondola from the International Airport at Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, on the United States' east coast. He was assisted at his launching by several dozen volunteers. He hopes it will only take five days to cross the ocean, and he expects to land in either southern France or Spain.
If a forced landing is necessary over the ocean, the white gondola -- "Light Heart" - -will float. Only an hour after departure, Gatch radioed that one of the ten balloons had burst, and he had lost height, but despite this early set-back, the 48-year-old Virginian was determined to press on.
In a pre-flight interview, Gatch told newsmen that his main worry was passing aircraft: