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Last Updated: Monday, 29 September, 2003, 10:12 GMT 11:12 UK
Balloon pilot sets Atlantic record
David Hempleman-Adams
This was David Hempleman-Adams' third attempt on the record
A British explorer has become the first person to cross the Atlantic in an open wicker basket hot air balloon.

David Hempleman-Adams, 46, from Wiltshire, was hit by two sonic booms as he set the record by crossing the south-west tip of Ireland at 0830 BST on Monday.

The booms from a Concorde flying 30,000 feet higher, caused the balloon to drop several thousand feet.

The polar explorer has been in the air for three days since setting off on Friday from New Brunswick in Canada.

Having survived heavy rain, extreme cold and sleep deprivation, he is now looking for somewhere to land.

Richard Mitchell, flight controller, told BBC News Online: "It is all about finding a safe spot.

He need to get him higher and he may go onto Scandinavia
Richard Mitchell
Flight controller

"With the weather conditions as they are, this is unlikely to be in Ireland.

"He has snow and ice at 13,000 feet and we are communicating via Shannon air traffic control as the satellite phone is down.

"He needs to get higher and he may go onto Scandinavia. That decision has not been taken yet," he added.

It was the explorer's third attempt at the record. In July this year, the Box-based adventurer was forced to abandon his second bid to cross the ocean due to problems with the weather.

His first attempt at a crossing was in September 2002.

Explorer plans new Atlantic crossing
30 Jun 03  |  Wiltshire
Explorer's Atlantic crossing starts
28 Jun 03  |  Wiltshire
New balloon bid for explorer
12 May 03  |  Wiltshire


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