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Thursday, 26 September, 2002, 08:11 GMT 09:11 UK
Long trek after failed record attempt
David Hempleman-Adams before take-off
Mr Hempleman-Adams is resting after the attempt
British explorer David Hempleman-Adams is to start the long trip back to the UK after his failed transatlantic balloon record attempt.

The explorer is expected to start packing up the balloon to send back to the UK after abandoning the flight on Wednesday.

Mr Hempleman-Adams, 45, from Wiltshire, was attempting to set a series of new records for a solo balloon flight across the Atlantic.

But he was forced to land his balloon, Atlantic Challenger, in Connecticut just 27 hours into the attempt because of technical problems.


He will be back and we will be back with him

Sponsor David Newman

The adventurer is expected to return to the launch site in Pennsylvania on Thursday before returning to the UK later this week.

The balloon will be shipped back across the Atlantic to be examined.

The explorer met his recovery team on Wednesday night after landing the balloon at Hebron, near Hartford, Connecticut, at 1330 BST on Wednesday.

A spokeswoman at the launch centre said Mr Hempleman-Adams would be looking to get some rest on Thursday before starting to pack the balloon.

David Newman, of Chase de Vere Investments, the main sponsors of the flight, said problems with the autopilot and the burner were thought to have caused the attempt to be abandoned.

The balloon prepares for take-off
All the equipment will be carefully looked at

Without the autopilot Mr Hempleman-Adams would have been forced to remain awake throughout the six-day flight.

"It seems there were a number of problems but everything had been tested prior to take-off so we need to look carefully at the equipment now," said Mr Newman.

"As well as his ballooning feats, David is a mountaineer and polar explorer.

"I'm sure he would think that the only failure would be not trying.

"He will be back and we will be back with him."

The explorer had been hoping to beat five records, including the solo world distance record of 3,337.5 miles for helium and hot-air balloons, during the trip.


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See also:

25 Sep 02 | England
25 Sep 02 | England
24 Sep 02 | England
03 Jul 02 | Asia-Pacific
01 Jun 00 | Europe
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