Three Americans have become the first men to cross the Atlantic Ocean in a balloon.?
AERIAL GV Balloon floating through sky over France
MV Spotter plane pilot watching balloon in sky
AERIAL VIEW GV Balloon landing
MV Balloonist drinking champagne
GV Welcoming crowd
SV People fixing ropes
MV Crew looking on
AERIAL GV Balloon in sky approaching U.K
CU Sydney Parks of back-up team member taking photographs
AERIAL GV Balloon crossing Welsh coast (3 shots)
CU Sydney Parks speaking to spotter plane
AERIAL GV Balloon in sky
DRING: "Not even the most optimistic members of the Double Eagle Two team expected the flight to be so smooth. After two years of preparation and one costly failure, they finally made it. Sydney Parks, the team's communications and electronics expert and Mrs. Jo Mitchell, the wife of another team member, were the first to be rewarded with the sight of the silver balloon, as it glided into view across South Wales this morning. And for the balloonists, Wales was their first sight of land. It was, without doubt, a thrilling moment. Three men and their balloon, 3,000 miles across the Atlantic. Apart from a few hours of rough weather yesterday afternoon, and some anxious moments as they drifted in the dark across Southern Ireland last night, everything had gone to plan. They had succeeded where 18 other attempts had failed, and at the same time they had broken the endurance and distance records for helium filled balloons. It all seemed too good to be true. Hadn't there been any problems at all?"
PARKS: "It's gone beautifully, really fantastic as well. Just a few minor problems, mostly getting familiar with the gear and getting (indistinct) away and getting their watch keeping sorted out, things of that nature. But as far as the trip's concerned it's been just wonderful."
DRING: "And no doubt that's exactly what the balloonists felt too."
The three balloonists aboard Double Eagle Two set out from maine on Friday, 11 August, 1978. Two weeks previously, two British balloonists failed by just 100 miles (160 kilometres) to reach the French coast after a flight from North America.
REPORTER: SIMON DRING
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Three Americans have become the first men to cross the Atlantic Ocean in a balloon. Max Anderson, ben Abruzzo and Lawrence Newman, landed in France on Thursday (17 August) six days after setting off from Maine in the United States.
SYNOPSIS: The balloonists in their helium filled balloon, Double Eagle Two had planned to land at Le Bourget airport, outside Paris, where a triumphant reception was awaiting them. They had already beaten all records earlier in the day when they crossed the west coast of the United Kingdom. But they were still flying high, and so decided to carry on to France. They did not make Le Bourget, landing instead in a cornfield at Evreux, about 80 kilometres (50 miles) west of Paris.
But the welcome was just as welcome, at Evreux. Hundreds of people quickly gathered round the victorious trio. Le Bourget was where the pioneering American aviator, Charles Lindburgh, landed after the first solo flight across the Atlantic more than 60 years ago though the balloonists did not make it to Le Bourget, they did achieve what man has been trying to do for over a hundred years. And as they approached the U.K. coast to achieve that, the BBC's Simon Dring was plotting their course.