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Sunday, 11 August, 2002, 14:07 GMT 15:07 UK
Balloon record abandoned
Mike Howard under the helium balloons
Mike Howard rose with help from a hot air balloon
A world record ballooning attempt has been thwarted by heavy cloud and the danger of drifting into airspace.

Skydiver Mike Howard had hoped to reach 11,000 feet on a cluster of helium balloons at the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta on Sunday.

But he could rise to only 7,000 feet before shooting the balloons with a handgun to allow his descent.


With the right weather, I am keen to try again

Mike Howard

The Manchester-based British Airways pilot had postponed the stunt on Saturday because of poor weather.

Mr Howard from Timperley said: "It was great fun and it felt very different from anything I have done before."

He rose to 3,000 feet attached to a hot air balloon, before cutting himself free to rise a further 4,500 feet under the helium balloons.

He said: "Shooting the balloons was fun and with the right weather I am keen to try again soon."

Night flights attracted crowds to the fiesta
Mr Howard already holds a series of records for performing stunts on balloons.

Saturday's poor weather stopped an early morning mass ascent by hot air balloons.

But thousands of people were able to watch the balloons rising on Saturday evening. On Friday, the globe balloon used as BBC One's presentation symbol made its final official flight at the Bristol festival.

The balloon used to be screened between programmes on the channel.

The red and yellow globe, built by Camerons in Bristol, is going into the care of the Sussex-based Balloon Preservation Group.

The BBC balloon is among the favourites on the BBC Bristol website, which is screening live reports from the fiesta which ends on Sunday.

See also:

11 Aug 02 | England
10 Aug 02 | England
09 Aug 02 | England
05 Aug 02 | England
21 Jul 02 | England
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