Three Americans attempting the first crossing of the Atlantic by balloon were reporting good progress at the half-way stage on tuesday (August 15) The balloon's oxygen and heating systems were said to be working well as the trio tired to keep at a high altitude to benefit from stronger winds.
Aerial GV Balloon drifting across skyline (three shots)
SV Pilot speaking to family from Balloon over St. John's Newfound-land.
MELANSON: "The balloon started to pass over St. john's at 10 o'clock this morning, moving slowly east at 20 knots. And at an altitude of 8,000 feet. The 97-foot high high Double Eagle is black and silver and is that colour for a reason. The balloon is filled with helium gas, not hot air. The two colours absorb a lot of sunlight to heat the balloon, allowing it to gain altitude easily. The trip is being monitored around the clock by ground crews in massachusetts. And after almost 48 hours in the air, no problems had been reported. The pilots are convinced they'll make it. As they approached St. John's this morning, one the pilots had a message for his family and friends back home."
PILOT "The flight has gone very smoothly so far, except for heat. We're running about 29 average which slower, we hope to see better sun projection as far as what we had anticipated."
MELANSON: "It problems do develop, the balloonists are equipped with emergency supplies and plant to sail the rest of the way in 15 foot catamaran attached to the balloon. If they make it, there's hang-glider rigged to the balloon, and one of the pilots will be able to glide to land. The odds are high against their making it. Seventeen other attempts have failed and six people have lost their lives. In about four and a half days from now, the balloonists hope to land somewhere in Europe, probably near Brest in France. Joan Melanson, CBC News, St. John's."
Two weeks ago two British balloonists failed by just 100 miles (160 Km) to reach the French Coast after a flight from St. John's.
REPORTER: JOAN MELANSON
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Background: Three Americans attempting the first crossing of the Atlantic by balloon were reporting good progress at the half-way stage on tuesday (August 15) The balloon's oxygen and heating systems were said to be working well as the trio tired to keep at a high altitude to benefit from stronger winds. they predicted a landing in Europe by Thursday (August 17). The three balloonists are max Anderson and Ben Abruzzo, who are making their second transatlantic attempt, and Lawrence Newman. All are from Albuquerque, New Mexico. They set out in their helium-filled balloon, "Double Eagle the Second," last Friday (August 11). Joan Melanson of CBC reports on their early progress, as they passed over newfoundland, Canada....